Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Promise Renewed


2015 fades and a new year arises. Welcome to 2016. Each day we are blessed to receive bares a promise renewed. God does not go back on His word. His promises are true. It is but for you to receive and believe.

Psalm 84:11-12 (NKJV)
"11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly."


I sit and stare out at a starry sky,
Thinking of the many days and nights that molded this past year.
A year met with much trembling and fear.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of loss.
Pain.
Hope defunct.
 
Numb on the outside,
Spirit bludgeoned.
Broken and hollow.
I can't feel You,
But I know You are here.
Through tears, 
A silent prayer for respite.
 
"Set your affections on the things above,"
Wrench away the corruption of fleshly mind.
Lay me in spiritual garments.
A new day is here,
And so it come,
A promise renewed.
 
Inhale...exhale,
I rise out of ash,
To receive the promise.
Change.
I see through different eyes.
I wear a different skin.
 
The old life passes away.
A new life begins.
In the days and nights to come,
A promise renews,
You don't have to ask.
For it has already been given.
 
Many Blessings to you and the newness of life. 
 
Happy New Year!
 
 



 
 
 
 


Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Heaviness of Numbers

Wow! I'm actually at my computer during the light of day. This is great! Hey, I hope I wasn't too preachy last night or should I say early this morning. I wasn't trying to preach, I just needed to purge. Usually when I ramble on like that I am speaking to myself. Saying things out loud helps to make them tangible to me. I also get very exited when I'm blessed to see the changes that are manifesting in me. Changes that I could only have hoped for in the past are now coming into the light. With each day I become a little more free.

I'm still exploring this thing called freedom and I'm still discovering how deep freedom is. I don't think I've even begun to scratch the surface, but what has been revealed to me sure feels good. Freedom does not come easy. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I've written a post on the subject before. Perhaps I should have read it before writing this post. Forgive me if I am being redundant.

Sometimes it feels like my posts are jumping all over the place. I don't think I'm able to write like some in a beautiful, gradual succession. I'm more in the moment with my writing. This is something I've just recently become aware of. I tend to write whatever is on my mind in the present. Doesn't matter if it relates to previous posts or not. And then there are times when I am able to write on a subject and work my way into a tandem style format. Okay, I've finished rambling.



I'm still doing well with my exercise. I'm not fully committed to the additional exercise, but I do get to it as my energy and time allow. Which means I will need to make more time to accomplish this goal. I will have to make it a priority just like my nighttime workout.



I discovered something new about myself during one of my workouts. When I'm most at peace I don't count reps or anything. I just move and I think and I meditate on things. What matters most are the freeness of thought, quiet of mind and time. Counting limits me. It seems when I get to a certain number I'm more inclined to stop, however, on a good night I push to reach higher numbers. Workouts like this usually last about 25 minutes or so. When counting is left out of the equation and mindfulness enters my workouts last much longer, sometimes as much as an hour or more. Amazing isn't it. Do you count when you work out or do you just move? Do you think it would make a difference to you? Hmmm, pretty significant if you ask me. Makes me want to explore the heaviness of numbers and why numbers and counting don't always serve me well.



I wonder if anyone else has thought of this. I've noticed in some ED groups numbers are not allowed. You are not to discuss weight, food measurements, body measurements or anything of the kind. So what is it about numbers that weighs so heavily with us? Maybe numbers add extra pressure. I don't know. Like the pressure to do better, lose more weight, or eat less food.



Maybe numbers lend themselves to future obsessions like being extreme about cutting back on the number of calories or increasing the number of reps to maximize fat burning at an unhealthy rate or constantly checking the scale. How do numbers make you feel? Do you feel pressure when or if you focus on numbers as part of your process to healing from ED?



Numbers can discourage. There have been times when I've exercised rigorously for months only to step on the scale and see little to no change.




Anyway, if you find numbers to be heavy in your process, maybe focus on them less and focus on you more...your thoughts...your feelings and how good it feels just to move. Get lost in time if you can and allow the quiet stillness of your mind to take over. See how you feel afterwards. You may like it or you may not. Give it try. Explore. There will be days when I chose to count and there will be days when I allow myself to drift into mental stillness while moving. I like having the variations.

As always, onward and upward.

Company will be arriving soon. Better get ready. Take care my lovelies. Talk to you soon.

Spiritual Surrender

Psalm 118:5 (NIV) "In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free."
What a wonderful day it has been. Last night was wonderful too. I did not eat, not even my snack and I didn't miss it. I felt so much peace. Peace be still...yes.

There are so many things going on in my head right now. I want to write about it all, but it's just to much to put into one post. Not to mention my thoughts are going so fast I can hardly keep up. I hope I don't bounce around to much in tonight's post. I'll try to stay focused so my thoughts don't wander off and drag me with them.

Did you listen to the guided mediation in last night's post? The relaxed feeling I got while listening to the video lingered into the rest of the night. After completing my post and closing out my day, I sat down to have a glass of wine and watch a little tv before bed. I finish one glass and pour another, which is still in the glass from last night. Sleep came upon me so fast and so hard that I had no choice but to surrender to it. All was still. No anxiety. No worries. No cravings. There was only blessed peace and sleep. It was wonderful. I can't remember having a night so peaceful. I hope to have many more nights like this.

I've been in a zen like mood all day today. It could be because I've surrendered...not talking about surrendering to sleep, even though that helps. I have surrendered all of my worries to Christ that I be more open and receptive to the grace God has given me through Christ. There are always things going on that are out of my control. As a Christian I'm supposed to know that I have a wonderful source who is God that I can go to anytime day or night. How many times have I read Psalm 55:22 (NIV) "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." I've read this verse many times and for a very long time I thought I was casting my cares on the Lord. I realized earlier this year that I wasn't. I was asking Him for help and continuing to worry because I needed to see some sort of solution. I needed to know that my problems would be solved and I needed to figure out how that was going to happen. I didn't trust God. I thought I did. There was no need to search for solutions when God already had solutions in place. I simply needed to trust Him, focus on the things of heaven, do what I am able to do and believe He will not forsake me.

Where do we go to learn how to trust God? Sure, we can go to church and attend all the bible studies. We can talk to fellow Christians who seem to have all the answers, but they still can't tell you how to trust God. They can only tell you to trust Him.

I learned the only way I could. I learned how to trust God by falling flat on my face, having no place else to go. I learned to hear His voice in the midst of deafening silence and fear. It took me learning how to take my mind off my problems without burying or abandoning them. It took me turning to God to say, I can't do it.

When I was first told to let go of my problems, I thought they meant for me to ignore them. I thought I was supposed to try focusing on other things like lessor problems or sit around licking my wounds while warding off ghosts of problems past. I was released from those notions when I read and meditated on Colossians 3:2 (NIV) Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. I read this verse everyday for several days until it stuck. Now when a problem arises, I pray about it and turn it over to God. To keep my focus on the things above I give thanks all through the day, everyday and I ask God to guide my steps throughout the day so my actions are fruitful and I accomplish what He has set for me to accomplish. It takes all of my energy to accomplish what needs to be done. That includes writing in my blogs. I don't have time to focus on problems as much anymore. Nor do I find myself stewing about something someone has said or done to hurt my feelings. I'm far to busy discovering the beautiful plan God has for me and releasing the rest. I am better able to see that my prayers are being answered now that my mind is not cluttered with problems and problematic situations. When things get real rough, I turn to God and I declare that I trust Him because He knows just what I need and He promised that He would take care of me.

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
First Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”


It's amazing how God can work in our lives if we just let Him. I no longer select problems to turn over to Him. I give them all. I'm glad it finally sunk in to let go and to let God.

While perusing Youtube videos I came across The Ecstasy of Surrender - Dr. Judith Orloff. I heard about the book, but have not purchased it yet. I found her talk interesting. I like how she has an inclusive approach to the subject, meaning she applies more than just science. There are several talks with Dr. Judith Orloff. I chose this one because it was short, but still good. I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday Talk: The Ecstasy of Surrender - Dr. Judith Orloff at CSLseattle

 
 
We enjoyed eating leftovers today. There's still enough for tomorrow. This is great! Not having to cook is like being on a mini vacation. After tomorrow, it's back to the old grind. No need to get to used to having so many leftovers. I'm just happy that I'm doing as well as I am this season. 
 
I wish I didn't make the rhubarb and apple crisp. We're not eating it. It's a little sweet for my taste and my son was not thrilled with it. We have company coming over tomorrow. Hopefully they will eat it up and if not maybe take the rest home.
 
I'm going to bed now. It's 3:56am. Goodnight. Talk to you soon.
 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Two Down One to Go

It's 12:12am. I've just finished cleaning the kitchen. There are leftovers which are all packaged and put away. My snack is waiting in the wings. So far I don't feel triggered by anything. Maybe it's because I'm still full from dinner. I'll do my workout and head to bed. I hope sleep takes over soon.

Made it through the second major holiday of the season. One more to go. It's been good so far. Nothing overwhelming. Looking forward to an outing tomorrow evening if all goes according to plan. We've been invited to go to a story telling and healing drum session. I've not been to a healing drum session before. I looked up healing drums on Youtube and found several videos on the subject. Some were okay and others left much to be desired. There was one that I found to be interesting. I didn't like it at first, but the longer I listened the more relaxed I became. Let me see if I can find it again and if so, I'll share it with you.

Well I couldn't find the video I was looking for, but I did come across another interesting video. As I listened to it I became very relaxed and fell right off to sleep. Not a deep sleep, because I'm sitting at my desk trying to finish this post. If I were in my bed I'd probably still be sleeping. 

This video is a guided Christian meditation for deep relaxation. It's supposed to help with anxiety also. I'm not sure if it does, because I'm not having any issues with anxiety tonight. If any of you are feeling anxious or you just want to relax and get some sleep, give this video a try. It's best if you listen with headphones. If you are lying down while listening to this video, position the cord of your headphones in a safe position in case you fall asleep.


 

Well I'm off to carry on with my nightly routine. You know...the usual. I hope your day went well. Try to get some rest. I'll check in tomorrow.

Goodnight.

The Gift of Giving

Hey,

I wasn't sure if I'd get a chance to take a break and write a little something. It's 3:12am. I've just finished cleaning the kitchen and ready to settle down for the night.

Today has been a very good day. I spent most of the day reflecting, which is something that I do a lot this time of year. For me, the holiday season is not about all the fanfare. It's a time to regroup and reflect on the things accomplished this year and the things I want to accomplish next year. I don't mean New Year's resolutions. I don't do those. I'm just holding on to hope and planning to stay on track making progress in my spiritual walk and healthy life changes.

How are you? I know I ask often. Maybe one day you will answer me. I hope you are doing well and I hope have many wonderful, enjoyable experiences to focus on. We are having a few guests over and an outing. Today we had a lovely visit with a couple friends. Whenever we get together there's always a lot of laughter.

I cooked a little something for them to take home. Which they greatly appreciated. It's been a long time since they've had my cooking. You know...it's sweet little experiences like the ones we had today that set the tone for the season. I don't buy gifts or hang decorations. There's no tree twinkling or carolers singing. There's no endless list of things to do and most of all there's no stress. However, we spent a great portion of our day sharing a surplus of items with those in need. In turn they blessed my son with a new used office chair. It came right on time. His old chair was falling apart.

What's your favorite kind of gift? I like the kind of gift that keeps on giving. It doesn't require money. You don't have to hunt around for the perfect box to put it in. You don't need any giftwrap and it doesn't cost any money. And it's a gift that is suitable for all ages. What is it? Love. We give the gift of love and anything else that may accompany it is given out of love. That's it. That's what it's all about. The gift of giving is the giving of love. While we are in the gift giving mood, don't forget to give a little love to yourself.

I've finished cooking most of my dinner for tomorrow. We are continuing on the healthy track. We will be serving turkey, greens, turkey ham, potato salad, green beans w/tomatoes (spicy), acorn squash, stuffing, quinoa and cheese bake and maybe a small rhubarb and apple crumble. The jury is still out on desert. I cooked more this go round than last holiday because we are expecting more guests than originally planned. Like last holiday I put together a menu that has no triggers for me. Even though there is a strong possibility I may make a desert, if I do, it will indeed be very small. Just enough to get a taste or the equivalent of 3 small servings.

I'm tired, but I feel exhilarated. It's that bewitching time and I don't feel an urge to feed. My snack is in place and I am ready to go work out a little before falling into my bed.

I'll be thinking of you all and as always wishing you well. Stay focused on the positives and be sure to do something very nice for yourself. Happy Holidays to you! Good night.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Trusting God: Seeing the Positives

 
 
 
I typically get very anxious when things change suddenly, especially when the changes interrupt routine for a considerable amount of time.
 
 
Last Thursday night I was sitting at my computer working on a couple blog posts and eating a bowl of soup. The soup was delicious I might add, even though my son may beg to differ. I'd been accomplishing many good things and handling negatives better than usual. I'd been uploading transcription software and defragging my computer so it could run a little faster. Everything was moving right along. I decide to reboot my computer and get another bowl of soup. When I returned to my computer the monitor was black. I turned it off, waited 10 seconds and turned it back on. Nothing. I reach over to press the "On" key on my computer. Nothing. I check power connections and tried again...still nothing. Oh no, my computer is dead. All I could think about was the work I would not be able to finish before deadline.
 
Crap! What am I supposed to do now? I call my computer guru, hoping he'd answer. He didn't. I left my desperate plea and hoped to hear from him soon. Rather than continuing to sit at my desk stewing about the loss of my computer, I decided to close up shop and do some housework. It was pretty early in the evening which meant I was going to get a good head start on my nightly routine. Before getting deep into my housework I stopped for a moment to pray. There's something about spending time with God that seems to make everything be okay. I like spending time with God. I like telling Him about my day. I know He already knows, but I like telling to Him anyway. I started off telling Him about my computer and then I stopped...and began to give thanks. I don't like starting a conversation with complaints. Several minutes go by, you would have thought I'd found enough things to be thankful for, but I the more I thanked Him for the more gratitude I felt. Before I knew it, I was thanking God for shutting down my computer, a thing which would have rattled me to my core in the past. Instead of being rattled, I was joyful. I felt free.
 
Later on as my chores came to a close, I found myself thinking about the peace that I felt and how odd it was for me to feel that way. Odd indeed. How could I rejoice over the loss of my computer? Am I going mad? I let the dog out and went into my room to exercise. While exercising I began thinking of the many things that I've wanted to accomplish, but have not because I was at my computer. Hmm, I don't have that excuse right now. Guess I'd better get to getting it... Before I knew it I had plans on deep cleaning my house, activities with my son, outings with friends and so on. My goodness, I didn't realize there were so many other things I've let slip through the cracks because I'm always working on the next project. I wound never have figure that out without the loss of my computer.
 
God answers prayers. It wasn't a week ago when I asked God to help me be able to accomplish more in my day. I also asked Him to help me live a better quality life. Seems I was always working. I can't rest for thinking of things that I think will make our lives better. I wasn't accomplishing enough and frankly speaking I don't feel like I have the energy to do much more. I'm thankful for what I've been able to accomplish, but it's short lived by the guilt I feel for not doing more when I know there is more to be done. More than I sometimes care to think about. Could it be that this turn of events was an answer to my prayers? All evidence seems to point to that. Time to be still so I can receive God's grace.
 
I am super stoked that I was able to find the part I needed for my computer and able to install it myself. Now that my computer is up and running, I can't help but recognize that I have been freed from the chains that bind. I will continue working on my various projects, however, I have learned to see and embrace the bigger picture. I'm looking forward to living a new life having the ability to be apart from my computer without anxiety and guilt tagging along.  
 
The best part...my computer being down did not send me spiraling into depression. I did not have an urge to self-sooth by way of binging. My life is really taking a turn for the better as my trust in God and my ability to see positives in adversity grow stronger.
 
One more thing...
 
I apologize to my patient son who simply smiles as he closes his bedroom door to muffle the sounds of me clicking away on my keyboard. You have been more than kind. You even taught me how to lovingly deal with that which makes me uncomfortable. I thank you for that. I stand in awe as I become more aware of the wisdom that dwells within your silence. Love you Boo-boo. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Making Progress

Wow! Time is really getting away from me. I can't believe Christmas is next week and the week after we are looking at a brand new year. I'm not going to ask about New Year's resolutions because I don't believe in them. I refuse to start a new year like that. I prefer easing into my year being thankful and hopeful.

How have you been? I'm doing well. My son is doing well also. We've been busy. I came across an acting class for people having disabilities in our local area. How cool is that?! I called the person who is giving the class to find out a few details. After talking it seemed that the class is a very nice class, but not quite what my son needs. That's cool, he's got some other stuff going that is working well for him. I'm actually excited to get him ready for day school which he will start when he's 18. What a relief it is to have a plan for him while he transitions into adulthood. There are so many parents that do not have a concrete plan for their children once they graduate or age out of high school. Fortunately we are involved with a wonderful service provider that created their day school a couple years ago and it is really taking off. They've just recently added yoga classes in addition to all of their other classes. We have two years before he begins and looking forward to it.

Back to calling about the acting class. Even though it was not a perfect fit for my son, there is still some general interest. I also had a very exiting conversation with the instructor and ended up sharing some of my poetry with her. She loved it! I'm so stoked. Shortly after Christmas my son and I are going to see her and one of her friends performing at a local coffee house. I can't tell you the last time we've done that. Wait, let me think...my son might have been 7 or 8...maybe... It's been a long time. I'm exited and looking forward do getting back into the arts and artsy culture. Time to get out of my shell and embrace life again.

Speaking of time. Some days I look at my son and I can't believe how fast the time has gone. One minute I'm worrying about having a healthy pregnancy and the next I'm helping my baby transition into adulthood. Okay, enough of that before I start getting emotional.

Things are going very well with my planned snack attack. Yes indeed! Let's see it is the 16th. I started preparing premeasured snacks on the 7th/8th. I sort of started on the 7th, but was better prepared by the 8th. Had to get some apples and come up with a food plan that did not have triggers in case I wanted to use some of the leftovers for my snack.

So for so good, folks! The first couple night I ate my prepared snack and wanted a little bit more. I didn't fret about it because I was satisfied and contented by the fact that I was not stressing anymore about food intake at night. The next couple nights I ate my prepared snack and was satisfied with just that. I'm doing good and looking forward to doing better. On the 4th, 5th and 6th night I did not eat my prepared snack. Nights 5 and 6 I actually had a snack prepared and on the counter, instantly ready if needed. I did my normal nightly activities of straightening up the house, giving meds, letting out the dog, prayer time, exercise and so on. As the bewitching hour came I noticed that I was not craving food of any kind. As a matter of fact I waiting an additional 30 minutes or so just to see if I would have a craving. Silly I know, but I had to see for myself. I never had the craving and I was getting sleepy which is difficult for me to do unless I've eaten something or I stay up until exhausted (yet another way of trying to combat the need to feed at night). Needless to say on those nights I put my snacks back and gladly ate them for lunch the following day.

I'm feeling pretty confident, but I'm not letting my guard all the way down because we are fast approaching Christmas which is another holiday filled with tempting triggers. I'm going to stick to my guns and plan another healthy meal. A few simple and delicious items should do. I don't think I will make a desert this time. We really didn't miss having desert Thanksgiving. I doubt we will miss it for Christmas. Besides, I can purchase a couple candy canes and leave it at that. Hard candy has never been a trigger for me. Chocolate on the other hand... I'll just leave that alone.

It feels good to be much more comfortable at night. For the last two nights I've been going to bed unusually late. I mean almost at the crack of dawn late. Monday I went to bed around 5:30 am and Tuesday 6:40 something. I'm not sure why I'm not able to fall asleep. I do not feel sad or depressed. I did have a crazy anxiety filled dream a few mornings ago. It kind of messed with me, but I've since gotten over it. I think I have. And I also have a few more memories creeping in from may past, but I am quickly purging those memories into poetry. So I don't know. I feel good and I hope I can get to sleep earlier tonight.

Oh, I almost forgot. I have started exercising an additional 10-15 minutes during the day, not everyday yet, but soon. I really enjoyed it today and will work harder to carve that time out during the day more consistently. Of course, I will have my workout tonight since that is my special treat.

Okay that's pretty much it for me. Tonight for dinner I made a quick stove top version of tuna casserole with a little extra tuna and sweet peas and a simple salad. It was delicious.  

Hugs to you all. Goodnight.

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Quick Note: I'm liking The Change

Hey! I just wanted to check-in after last night. I continue to feel a great since of relief. Everything went well. I put a pre-measured snack in the fridge and went on with my night. I even smiled the entire time I worked out.

I did get hungry and I ate my snack, but the great thing is I didn't feel the need to go back and get more. I don't know why it is, but my mind seems to be satisfied knowing there's a little treat available. Typically during late night hours my mind roams the kitchen cabinets and pantry looking for comforting foods to eat like chips, pasta or something sweet. My cravings for sweets can be specific at times, however my bodies need for sugar is relentless. What does that mean? My body cravings for sugar is not always specific to something sweet, rather my body is looking for empty carbs which quickly break down into sugars. It's a great help not having these types of foods readily available late night. I do cook pasta and rice dishes occasionally. When I do, I know not to cook anymore than what will be consumed for the meal or else it becomes a strong trigger later on that night.

I tell yah, last night was a real wake up call for me. I didn't realize how much the stress of avoiding food late night was affecting me in other ways. I've been consistently exercising for at least 30 minutes at the end of my day which is usually around 2-3AM. About a week ago I started toying with the idea of increasing exercise by adding an additional 15 minutes during the day. I wasn't able to implement it because I'd lost heart. I could not muster up the energy to eve attempt to increase my exercise because I was stressing so much about eating at night. I had gotten to the point of having to avoid walking through the kitchen at night or seeing food items on TV. I could hardly stand to see my son's goldfish snack that he loves so much. I was a mess. Every effort to do right was becoming a form of imprisonment. It wasn't good.

Are some of you wondering why I exercise so late at night? It's simple. In the course of learning to love myself and becoming more committed to self and the goal of getting healthier, exercise became somewhat of a treat. I would even go so far as to say a reward. I like to feel accomplished at the end of the day. Whether my day is a little lack luster or filled with satisfying accomplishments, exercise has become the cherry on top so to speak. It relaxes me and I feel even better about myself when I'm done. It's a win-win situation.

Increasing my exercise during the day is another step towards fulfilling one of my main goals which is to increase my metabolism. I believe increasing my exercise regimen will help me to increase metabolism especially since I'm trying to increase muscle mass. I use 2 lb. weights during cardio routine. I will increase reps and weights over time. I'm also elongating and sculpting as I go with palates. I have a piece of equipment called supreme palates that I use. It has resistance coils that work well for me. Slow and steady wins the race.

Initially I was under the false impression that I would have to be a certain size before beginning to sculpt my body. Another false notion my mind talked me into. It really doesn't make sense to wait, so I'm electing to start now. Scales aren't everything and they're definitely not the go to when documenting results. At least while I'm elongating muscle and sculpting my body I'll be able to reap some of the benefits of exercise quicker than by measuring loss of lbs. I'm a big girl and I'm already starting to see some definition, especially in my arms and shoulders. There's nothing like gaining a little inspiration when looking in the mirror.

The other night, when I was having my little rant about my friend losing weight quicker than I was, I neglected to think about the fact that I am increasing muscle. Muscle is heavier than fat, so when I get on a scale my weight loss will look less because fat loss and muscle gain will kind of even out...duh. So more props to me for having lost weight knowing that I'm gaining muscle. Hey, the more I talk the better I feel.

I lift my glass of water to toast myself on a good global effort. Keep up the good work!

Note to self: remember this is a global effort. Stay focused, continue eating healthy foods in healthy portions, slowly increase exercise routine and relax. Learn to enjoy life a little, especially now that you are doing so many wonderful things for yourself.

Onward and Upward!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Snack Attack Is Back



Yep! I'm having some difficulty getting away from having a late night snack. I've been getting very anxious about this. I guess you can tell by my last post. I was looking into some sort of appetite suppressant. I didn't find anything suitable. I like the idea of having healthy snacks that can naturally suppress my appetite. As a matter of fact, I'm particularly interested in the idea of apples being one of those healthy snacks. Rice bran draws some interest as well. I'll have to check into it as I am fiber sensitive and I have to be careful. No need to add adverse affects to an already existing situation.

Natural appetite suppressants do offer some sense of relief, I guess. It's...well...I wanted to be able to stop late night snacking all together. I'm really having a lot of difficulty with this and I'm not sure how I'm going to tackle this hurdle. The main thing is not to freak out about it. Yeah, I was on the cusp of doing that also. I worked myself into borderline desperation. Glad it was short lived or else the potential for a host of other issues could easily develop if I didn't get a grip on the situation. I never gave thought to how easy it would be to develop other bad habits or dare I say obsessions if desperation gets thrown into the mix. Better be sure to steer clear of that. I don't need any additional problems.

I could look at this situation two ways. I could say that I'm expending almost all my energy trying to gnaw my way out of the binging chains that bind. Or I could have a more positive view and say, for me, not binging takes considerable effort and there has been great improvement. So what am I worrying about? Well, I worry about my inability to get past the desire to eat something almost every night. I also worry about the occasion when a snack could so easily lead to another snack and yet another...

I have had some really good nights where I didn't binge or snack on anything. And of course there have been those nights when I've planned a pre-measured snack and was quite successful with it. That's it! Maybe I should go back to having planned pre-measured snacks available for a while. It wasn't so stressful for me. As a matter of fact, soon as I got comfortable with having a pre-measured snack available I jumped right into trying to stop the snacks all together. Ever since I made that decision it's been nothing but stressful. Wow! I am so glad I wrote this post. I had not thought about my original reason for implementing pre-measured snack to begin with. Yeah, time for me to get off this hellish track and back to something more doable, until I'm stronger. I'm pushing myself to hard...to fast? And making too big of a deal out of it. After all, how long should it take to completely drop the habit of eating at night, a habit that I've spent  more than 4 decades developing?

Okay, I feel so much better. I was really worried about the snacking and how stressful it's been to not allow myself anything. It shouldn't come down to praying, crying and trying to rock myself to sleep every night to keep from eating. In all of this I didn't even think of the fact that I am losing weight. I just have to keep the snacks small, healthy and most of all planned. So far this has been my biggest defense against binging. Man...I've really worn myself out with this one. That's okay. Like I said in a previous post. Peaks and valleys are necessary. Instead of trying to avoid them...which I can't do...I face them and look for the lessons that they possess. There it is... I'm going back to taking baby steps again.

I'm free! I don't have to suffer the crying and carrying on tonight. I'm going to prepare a little snack and stick it in the fridge...just in case. This I can do.

Tomorrow I'm going to the store and I'm purchasing some apples. You know what they say...an apple a day...

Please Lord, let this be the answer I've been looking for.

Whew...what a relief. Once again, the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. Thank you, Lord.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

5 Natural Ways to Suppress Your Appetite

Greetings everyone! I know it's late. I've been surfing the web looking for appetite suppressants. Sad to say most of what I'm seeing leaves much to be desired. I am caffeine sensitive, plus I have some issues with my heart after so many years of starving, binging, stress, obesity and smoking. Needless to say, I have to be careful with my choices. That being said, I've decided to take a more natural approach to suppressing my appetite.

The most vulnerable time for me are the early morning hours, just before I go to bed. Did I mention my insomnia? Most appetite suppressants increase your energy. No one I know wants a burst of energy before going to bed and being an insomniac...can you I imagine?

I visited Dr. Oz's website and found 5 natural ways to suppress appetite, key word being natural. There are even a couple items that would work well before bedtime which is when I most need them. Here they are... I'm listing the links separately so you can visit what is most interesting to you without having to flip through virtual pages.

5 Natural Ways To Suppress Your Appetite

Crush Your Cravings Item #1 - Apples
  
Crush Your Cravings Item #2 - Fiber (Wheat or Rice Bran)

Crush Your Cravings Item #3 - Green Tea

Crush Your Cravings Item #4 - Red Wine Vinegar (Drinking red wine does not count ladies)

Crush Your Cravings Item #5 - Pine Nuts

A delicious sounding recipe. I love pesto. I think I'll try making this for the weekend. Weekends are another hard time for me because I love to snack and what's a weekend without fun finger foods.

Pine Nut and Kale Pesto Recipe

That's it for me tonight. I've set aside a small snack for later. It's sort of calming to know that I do have something in the wings. I hope one day to not want to snack late night. In the meantime, if I small "planned" snack can give some relieve, I'll take it. It's better than the alternative of not allowing any snack and suffering through until sleep finally comes. Hopefully these natural appetite suppressing ideas will help me with that.

Take care all and good night!

Peaks and Valleys





A new dawn arises and the journey begins again. As with most things there are peaks and valleys. I've certainly had my share on this journey. There is much growth and many blessings along the way. I muddle through the days, weeks and sometimes months when I cannot fully identify my feelings let alone put them into words. Silent screams are skillfully etching their way into existence through scared flesh and failing health. I scarcely allow myself to believe these days will soon pass. It is in moments like this when I thank God for gifting me the ability to give voice to that which lies deep within. 

I am grateful, I am humbled, I am hopeful, and I am not alone.

A few months ago I was talking to a dear friend. One who like me struggles with her weight. She's not had a lifelong struggle with food addiction though the struggle she does have feels like a lifetime. Many changes have happened over the years. Her health has take a turn for the worse, so now she finds herself in a fight for her life. She teeter totters between lifestyle changes and surgery. I encourage her to take on lifestyle changes. A quick fix like surgery where a large amount of weight is lost in an fairly short amount of time is not the way to go for someone who has not developed the ability to make the necessary healthy choices to get to and maintain a healthy weight.

I've spent the past few months encouraging my friend to take steps, even baby steps towards a healthier lifestyle. She pretty much fought me ever step of the way. I pull back and try again later. Finally something changes. She calls me to tell me that God has spoken to her. He told her it was time to let go and let Him do His will for her. Through tears she apologizes for giving me such a hard time and vows to do better as she continues to listens for the voice of God. I could not have been prouder, giving God praise and thanksgiving throughout the day.

It wasn't long, maybe a few weeks, before she calls to tell me about her doctor's appointment and her weight loss. Wow! She's doing really well. Keep up the good work, I say. A couple more weeks after that conversation she calls again to tell me of an even more significant drop in weight. Hmmm, I am happy for her, but not as happy as I should be. Self doubt creeps in as I question my own efforts. Yeah, I'm loosing weight, but not nearly at the rate she is. The green eyes of envy are present and accounted for. I sink into depression.

It's times like this that make me really hate being human.

Why do I feel this way? She has every right to be happy about her progress. She deserves it just like I deserve being happy about my progress. So, why am I not so happy anymore? I'm feeling defeated compounded by guilt for feeling defeated when I should be celebrating triumph with my friend. At a loss, I crawl into my hole and begin to lick my wounds. Silence has taken over again.

I emerge feeling somewhat better yet still bitter and I begin to write. As I write, I pray for passion though I'm loosing what little passion I have for the cause. I ask God to take away the heaviness of my heart having no intention of ever sharing what I really feel. Funny, God had something else in mind. He lessoned the heaviness in my heart and He rekindled my passion for writing, but He will not allow the screams to be silenced. No matter what I write, how upbeat I want to be, or how much I try to encourage, it is all for naught until I come clean; sharing my truth in it's entirety.

Here it is... I'm a little pissed off that my friend is loosing weight faster than I am and she seems to be doing it so effortlessly now that she's making some effort. I on the other hand have been fighting this fight for almost 4 years and have not lost as much as she has in a few weeks. Am I jealous...YES. I know I shouldn't be nor do I want to be. I just am. This too shall pass like every other negative thing in my way. I'm always waiting for something to pass. My life is filled with stop and goes...yes and no's, please and thank you and whatever else get's me through the day.

I look in the mirror to see only a little change, though I'm exercising nearly everyday. My pantry is filled with  healthy foods and fresh veggies that I prepare daily. They are accompanied by lean meats, whole grains, fresh fruits, a little healthy fat and of course my daily vitamin. I pray every morning, every night and throughout the day for strength to keep it up. And then... She makes it look so easy.

[Breathe]

I needed to get that off my chest. Now that I've had my rant I also want to say that I realize my journey is a long journey. I am 50 and have been suffering with an eating disorder for over 40 years. It's not going to change overnight. I know this.

Reality...

My metabolism is nearly dead, well very low. The fact that I have been able to and continue to lose weight is nothing short of a miracle. At my worse, I gained 100 pound in less than a year because the binging was so severe. Most of that weight is gone. I'm several pounds away from the weight I was before that dreadful year. I have been blessed beyond and back.

So what if I feel a little stupid for being jealous. I'll get over that. Just like I've gotten over so many other things. The truth is, no matter what my truth is in that moment I need to own it and move past it. The lesson I learned today was to never allow a momentary blur take away all of the progress I have made. Nor will I allow it to stop me from encouraging a loved one who needs it.

I recognize my blessings and I move forward in them. One step at a time, one day at a time, one triumph at a time.

Peaks and valleys will always come and go. What's most important? Not so much the fight it takes to get from one point to the other as it is to recognize what the peaks and valleys offer. They offer vital information and the growth needed to sustain us. Peaks and valleys force us to take pause, make mental check lists, reflect and deflect, regroup and get prepared for the next phase of our journey.

Galatians 5:22 (KJV) - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)
Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

I release the jealousy and envy I once had regarding the weight loss of my dear friend. I will celebrate her triumphs and mine.

I pray for the strength to continue and the ability to endure.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Sweet Treat Without Defeat

I've been struggling with craving sweets since a few days before Thanksgiving and I've been good about not having sweets in the house. That is no sweets that I'd really want. So I applaud myself for not making all kinds of excuses to have sweets because it's the season. Question, what do you do when you just want a little something sweet? How do you know if or when you can give in to a craving and stop at one serving? Well, you don't know...at least I didn't.

Last night the cravings were unbearable, almost to the point of debilitating. I couldn't focus on anything. It was a miserable time. Against my better judgment, I printed a recipe for rice pudding and made it. It was a simple recipe for a small amount. I'm praying really hard to be able to eat a little and stop. I'm scared... Something has to give.

I'm not recommending that any of you doing this. This is my trial...my story. 

As the pudding bakes I notice that I'm feeling less agitated. Calm, but still on guard. The timer goes off. It' done. Now for the moment of truth. Will I or won't I. I placed the pudding on the counter to cool for a few minutes. As it cools I continue piddling, praying and hoping for the best. Either way, I need relief.

With plate and spoon in tow, I gently carve out the freshly backed morsels. It looks good...smells good. I serve myself a small portion of about 4 tablespoons. I eat. It tastes good. I wait, giving my body time to communicate with my mind. More importantly, time for my mind to realize that I am satisfied. I just hope my mind agrees with the rest of me. I continue to wait.

Time for a glass of water and to wash my dishes. I don't feel the craving for sweets anymore, but there is a small mental suggestion to get a little more. I take down a plastic container and a table spoon and begin preparing the dish for the fridge. All the while, there's still a small suggestion to get a little more.  I continue spooning the pudding into the plastic container until there was only 1 tablespoon left in the baking dish. Quick...get the lid on the container and put this pudding away. Don't waist any time and don't look back. Done.

The baking dish still sits on the counter with one spoon of pudding left behind. I'll eat that and my mind will have to be satisfied. Please...let my mind be satisfied.

As the evening went on, I got ready for bed. There's still the slightest desire to get a little more pudding. I think to myself. "No way! I'm done...no more food until tomorrow." Off to bed... Another good night under my belt. Well done.

Pleasant dreams. 

By the way, today I had a serving of rice pudding after dinner tonight. My son didn't like the pudding so that leaves one last serving for tomorrow. I'll have a quiet celebration then. In the meantime, moving forward. Onward and Upward!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Trip to the Grocery Store

Just getting back from the grocery store. I'm pretty stoked. Been craving sweets for the past few days and doing well with it because I do not have sweets in the house, except a half gallon of frozen vanilla yogurt which is by no means a trigger for my ED.

I only needed a few items and was careful to make a list so I would not have to linger in the store too long. It never fails, I always have that sinking feeling that I've forgotten something no matter how many times I check my list and I usually walk around the store just in case the illusive item comes to mind. I couldn't do that tonight. My cravings for sugar are so strong right now that I'd better not take the chance worrying about a possibly forgotten item. I probably don't need it anyway. Better for me to get out of the store as soon as possible or else a bag of sweets will surely be brought home tonight accompanied by the excuse of purchasing it for my son. If only my son knew how many bags of candy I've purchased for him that he never got. Well, at least it saved him a few extra trips to the dentist.

Time to get to the register. I'm making tracks while checking my list several time. It looks like I've gotten all of the items. A quick right turn and the checkout line is just ahead. Then...it happens. Argh! The mind is a terrible thing sometimes... I'm almost at the register, just gotta get around the chip display and then...my basket comes to a screeching halt. Their I am standing at the end of the dreaded candy isle. [Deep breath] Ok...do I turn left to go to the candy isle or do I go straight to checkout.

Do....I....turn...left.........OR........Do....I....go....straight.

I stood there holding up traffic and then I kept standing there until I made myself go straight to the checkout line. The safest one is the line with no candy. I think grocery stores did that for parent's sake so they don't have to endure their kids begging for candy while waiting to check out. They'll never know how much of a blessing it is to have the candyless checkout lines. Thank you for doing that.

I made it home. Groceries in tow and no candy in sight. Thank God!!

By the way, I did very well last night. After I published my post I piddled around the house getting everything tidy for a fresh start tomorrow. Went into the kitchen to wash dishes and saw a Bojangles bag on the table. I opened it to see if there was anything in the bad that needed to be put up. There in a smaller bag was the container for a family sized fry. Most of the fries were gone, only a few left in the bottom. Before I could help myself, I stuffed three of the fries into my mouth. I sighed and rolled my eyes. How in the world can I be so careless. I tossed the container with the remaining fries into the trash. My fear is that I might have triggered myself into a night long battle of wills. Me vs. My Mind.

Several hours have gone by, it's just about 5am. I know...I'm an insomniac. Can't help it. Sleepiness was finally setting in when the seemingly benign little voice tells me to get a bite to eat. Usually that last hour before I actually fall asleep is the most difficult hour for me. That is when the need to feed really steps up. I'm usually very tired and my mind tells me that I need to eat in order to sleep. And if I want to sleep bad enough I tend to give in. One small serving can easily lead to another small serving and so on. Right now, I take a vow to forsake a few hours sleep to allow my body to move into sleep mode naturally. I've got to retrain my brain into believing that I can go to sleep without eating. I went to bed and fell fast asleep. Another hurdle met face on. I hope I can be as successful tonight.

For dinner we are having brown rice served with turkey hash and chopped greens...no dessert.


 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Little Something For You







Hi there, I want to share a little something with you before I go to bed. It's late here...1:15am, so I'm going to tidy up a bit and call it a night. 
Last night I had gotten real hungry. I ate a small snack of leftover turkey and a handful of plain unsalted chips. Yeah, I wanted more, but I didn't eat more. I went straight to bed and prayed for sleep. Last night was a successful night.
Today was a very good day and tonight has been good also. No cravings or hunger so far. I just hope I can get to sleep soon.
Anyway, I was thinking of you guys and found this video to share.
Keeping you all in my prayers.
Goodnight...

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Day After

It's the day after Thanksgiving and I'm doing well. I did not binge last night nor have I starved myself today. I was exhausted. I did have one small craving for something as I was getting ready for bed. I did not eat anything and went straight to bed. 

My plan to avoid cooking foods that trigger my binges was successful. And I cooked enough to share with friends and family as well as have leftovers for a couple days. Just finished a plate not that long ago and I am quite satisfied.

The sun is setting. This is the time urges to begin feeding or hording foods for a later feed begin. I don't feel the urge to do that today. In all actuality, I've been doing pretty well for the past few weeks. There were a couple nights I had a late night snack, but no binging. The urges were still there and that's what lead to the snack. The rest was sheer determination not to keep going back for more snacks.

I think one of the biggest hurdle for me was emotional attachment to eating. I'm so glad to be past that now. It's not been that long. I should have written it down. A couple weeks ago during my prayer time while reflecting on the things God has brought me through, I realized the emotional attachment to my binging was gone. I did have a small binge once or twice a few months prior. It was different. I wasn't upset about anything or plagued with memories from the past. Actually, I was in a very pleasant mood but felt a strong need to eat after a certain hour.

I realized that feeding has taken on a more habitual feel. Kind of like being an alcoholic and taking that first drink after being on the wagon for a while. Well during late night hours I need not put a morsel in my mouth nor should I watch any cooking shows. Once I walked by my son's snack bowl. He had a few goldfish in it, so I grabbed a couple, popped them in my mouth and went into my room. Immediately I knew I should not have don't that. Instantly, my mind went straight into the kitchen to roam the cabinets and pantry on a search for something else to eat. I ate a couple snack that night, regretfully so. It's amazing what eating 1 or 2 goldfish can do.

The little voice inside my head doesn't try to discourage eating during the day anymore. I can eat freely without feeling the urge to restrict. However, the little voice makes up for it's daytime absence during nighttime hours. As soon as the sun sets the little voice kicks in attempting to sabotage my plan to exercise. Periodically I'd hear, "I don't want to exercise.", "It's getting late and I'm tired. I can exercise tomorrow.", "I've done a lot of walking while cleaning and running errands, that should be enough. No need to exercise." I heard these discouraging words every evening for the past month or so. I don't fight it. I don't even acknowledge it. I just go on with what I'm doing and at the end of the day I still exercise. My mind is not going to get the better of me.

Last night was different. After two days of going to bed around 7am and getting up to continue cleaning and cooking, I wanted to rest. I was physically too tired to do anything else. I needed to sit for a while and do nothing. I hobbled into my room, slightly hunched over, feet burning, legs wobbly and arm hanging heavily at my sides. All I could think about was how good it was going to feel to plop down on my bed and do nothing. I looked at the area where I usually exercise and thought, "I just can't do it. Not tonight." My feet were too tired to walk in place. My arms too tired to do anything. Suddenly another thought crossed my mind, "Your waist isn't tired. Try a few sit ups." Huh. Where did that come from? Usually I only hear words of discouragement. Who would have thought in this moment of pure exhaustion I'd hear encouragement. Hmmm. So I did a few sit-up and then hobbled over to by bed. I felt better and I felt proud that I was able to still do something just for me. It was nice.

Yesterday's dinner was turkey, dressing made with gluten free cornbread, green beans sautéed with tomatoes and shrimp, greens and roasted potatoes and butternut squash. I did not make a desert. I didn't want to and we didn't miss it. I may make a little something this weekend. A couple muffins, no glaze or frosting just plain. That will be a nice little treat for us.

Last night I was working on a post that I published around 1am or so. It was my first post with audio. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do it, because I did not know how to get the audio to play within the post. And I was afraid. Kind of weirded out about hearing my voice, well really about you guys hearing my voice. I'm past that now since posting it. I'd like to do more audio only this time I'd like to just talk and see what happens. I don't know. One of the things I am working on is being more committed to the things that I say I want to do or are going to do. Procrastination is one of my biggest downfalls. So as I become more committed to self that also includes being committed to the things that I want to accomplish in life...everything.

I'm feeling stronger...getting better.

I hope you're having a great day and I hope you have an even better tomorrow. Take care. Talk to you soon.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day is over





Hey,

It's 12:32am, my time. You might be asleep already. Just thought I'd check in. Thanksgiving Day is over. How are you doing?

Were you able to do okay better?

I hope no one made references to your weight or size. I hope no one comment on how much or how little you ate or even worse watch every morsel you put in your mouth or in a napkin. Try not to internalize it. A new hour is coming and if that's not enough....tomorrow is another day and a new beginning. Don't give up.

On a better note...

Perhaps things went well today. You managed to eat a small meal while with family and friends. You might have resisted the urge to purge at least once. That's a start. Baby steps, right...

OR

Perhaps the hours are ticking away...it's getting late. You are able to dig deep within yourself finding courage and inner strength to fight the urge to binge. Don't worry about the rest of the night. Give thanks for the moment and move forward.

Depending on where you are in your journey, try not to measure triumphs by days and weeks...not now. There will be plenty time for that as you get further along. It's easier to feel encouraged with every hour you're able successfully manage cravings and urges. And the successful hours will add up. Before you know it, you will have succeeded days, weeks, months and even years. It's a process and the process takes time.

Take it slow. [inhale/exhale]  Breath...

In the meantime, do you have something you can be doing...something that gives you enjoyment?  Reading, writing, journaling, listening to music or  singing?

What about a long hot bath?

You might want to try meditating on your affirmations.

And if you do...

As you meditate try this...

As you're lying, sitting or walking (you can walk during meditation), breath slowly in and out. Clear your mind and imagine seeing words of your affirmation around you or hovering over you. With every inhale you're drawing those positive words deep inside of you. Deeper and deeper with each breath the positive words begin to push the negative words out of you. 

Give yourself permission to let the negative words go and watch them float far, far and even farther  away. Keep doing this until all of the negative words that you see are gone.

Do this exercise as often as you feel you need. Give it a couple tries. It may take a couple times before it feels comfortable to you. And you may want to try meditating in different ways to see what works best for you. It's all about you.

Anyway, I hope you sleep well tonight.

Be encouraged. You are worth the fight.



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Quick Note

Hi everyone,

I hope everything is going well for you during this holiday season. I know the holidays can be very difficult when having or recovering from an eating disorder. I want to share with you a few things that I am doing to help myself get through the season.

Don't worry about tomorrow. Focus on today and try to find as many things as possible to be thankful for...even the small things...especially the small things.


For my issues with Binging

1. Give myself affirmations throughout the day and night.

2. Be aware of foods that trigger binging. Do not have them in the house. Instead have quick healthy snacks like fresh fruits and veggies. Make a light dip using low fat dip for your veggies. Drink plenty water.

3. Continue with meal plan. Avoid cooking too many dishes. Make 1 desert and keep it simple. I'm making sweet potato muffins, no frosting. They are easy to bake and I can leave a few out and freeze the rest.

4. My side dishes for the meal are mostly green veggies. Only on starchy dish and that is going to be roasted potatoes and butternut squash.

4. Avoid sugary treats and side dishes. Sugars can trigger cravings.

5. Eat regular portions sizes. Try not to overeat and avoid having too many leftovers laying around. Having fewer cooked foods lying around is a sure fire way for me to avoid having several midnight snacks.

6. I try very hard to make sure I have eaten sufficiently before sunset. Late night is when cravings tend to be most aggressive.


For Daytime Anorexia

1. Sometimes it's overwhelming when vising relatives and friends during the holidays. There's always so much food, more than I can stand to be around. Usually I have a meal already measured out for me at home. While I'm out I can select a little something to eat so not to be rude. I am comforted by the fact that I already have a pre-measured meal waiting. That way I don't have to overthink it. Having to think about food too much can also mess with my appetite.

2. Keep my same eating schedule. If I have to wait until after I eat to go out, I will. Better than skipping a meal and possibly avoiding it later.

3. Here is where I may plug in a few tips from the previous list... :-)

These are just a few of the things I try do daily, but especially during the  holidays. I wish holidays weren't so food focused.

I hope these tips help. If you have any tips of your own, please share them here. Thank you.

Be strong...
Give it your best shot...
Don't beat yourself up if you slip...
Keep trying...
A little goes a long way...
 
Don't give up!

Be True to Who You Are




For those of you remembering all of the pain.
For those of you who have been kicked, pushed, punched, knocked down, beaten, spat on; raped mentally, physically, emotionally or all of the above...
For those of you baring the scars of battles, fighting for you life, never winning the war.
For those of you who still hear the voices telling you you're ugly, fat, too skinny, crater face, sherman tank, piece of crap, dumb fuck, chicken shit, looser, worthless, not good enough, wish you were dead...

Know this...

Bullies and abusers want to break you because they themselves are broken.
They don't know what love feels like or how to love.
They're hurting you because they want to make someone else feel as bad as they do.
They'll never hurt the ones who hurt them nor will they ever forgive.

You don't have to keep hurting.
You don't have to keep hurting yourself.
Let go of the pain and sorrow.
There is so much more for you.
Live your life.
You deserve better.
You can be better.
You WILL get better.

Learn to love yourself.
Learn how to accept love from others.

YOU deserve it!

YOU don't have to be anything more than who you are.

YOU are enough!

Believe that, and if you don't...

Say these affirmations to yourself everyday, multiple times a day. It may take months before you really feel the words you are saying. Keep saying them...say them until you believe you are enough. Say them until you know you are worthy of love, especially the love you will have for yourself. You CAN love yourself. It really is possible. Ask me how I know...
 

"When I say I love you, I mean that I am committed to working to love you even when it's hard."

YOU are worth the commitment.

"I deeply love myself and recognize that I am a perfect reflection of my beautiful soul."
 

 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Little by Little







In the spirit of Thanksgiving I'd like to share the things that I am most grateful for with you. Some of these things may seem small to some. No matter how small all of the steps I've taken so far had to be taken for me to get where I am today. Every step you take towards healing and recovery counts. There is no effort too great or too small.

I am grateful for my faith in the Lord and how He has blessed me to come this far.

I am grateful for the beautiful child God gave to me.

I am grateful my son has not had a seizure since April 2015.

I am grateful for what Autism has taught me.

I am grateful for every fall I have taken and every time I've gotten up.

I am grateful for the few times I have gone to bed without eating anything as well as the times I do feed being less than what it used to be.

I am grateful for finding the strength to be completely honest with myself.

I am grateful for the inner peace that comes after facing the most painful times of my past.

I am grateful for everyday I did not give up on exercising.

I am grateful for the differences I'm starting to see in my body and being able to embrace my current physical state. I am able to appreciate my curves.

I am grateful for how much energy I have and look forward to having more.

I am even grateful for the days that I feel down because I can say to myself, "No matter how I feel about my looks today, I am actively doing something to help myself." I always feel better when I remember that.

I am grateful for valuable life lessons I've learned.

I am grateful for not smoking cigarettes anymore.

I am grateful for changing our diet to gluten free.

I am grateful for checking off a few more thing on my to-do list today.

I am grateful to be able to love myself.

I am grateful to fully receive love from others.

I am grateful to be grateful for so many things that I'm not able to list them all in this post.

I am even thankful that my dog did not roll around in anything stinky today.

I am grateful to be here and to be able to offer encouragement to you all.

Peace and Joy you...

Remember...even a little effort goes a long way. Don't give up!


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone! Tis' the season... 

I haven't been around much, but I'm doing well.

How are you doing? I hope that you had a good Summer and Fall. Summer was a little lack luster for us, but still pleasant in a peaceful sort of way. We've been doing well. I don't know if I told you, but we've gone gluten free. The transition started back in April of this year. My son has adjusted well to the change. There's only one thing, he can't let go of the goldfish crackers. They are his all time favorite snack. I wish I could find a good substitute, but there really isn't one. I'm thinking of creating my own version of his favorite snack, even if I have to bake small batches several times a week.

My son has not seized since going gluten free. He still has gut issues, but the seizures have ceased, at least for now and his gut issues are not as bad as they were before. He's taking a very low dose of Trileptal, which is a seizure medication. The only side effect that he's experiencing is sleepiness within an hour or two after taking the medication. The sleepiness is welcomed for night time, but not so much during the day.

I've read a couple articles claiming gluten free diets have no impact on behavioral issues in autistic children. I don't know about that. I do know that there are many parents out there who swear by gluten free living and have seen noticeable to tremendous change in their child's behaviors and moods since going gluten free. I am one of those parents. No matter what articles are written, I can tell you from personal experience that the benefits of going gluten free far out-way the rhetoric of naysayers.

How have you been doing with your eating? My hope is that you are getting better. It takes time to get past ED (Eating Disorder). Don't beat yourself up if you are still struggling. I'm struggle too. Even with the struggles I have made great improvements and you can too. Don't give up. I know it is especially hard this time of year which is one of the reasons I felt a sense of urgency to begin writing again, letting you know I'm still making strides and I'm still here with you.

I've had a couple binges since my last post in February. They weren't big binges, but binges nonetheless. Night time hunger is one of the hardest things for me to beat. I once described the urge to binge as a dark shadow looming over me. It's as though this dark shadow has control over me, literally willing me to go to the kitchen to feed. I voiced concerns about my inability to combat this dark shadow. Despite the fact I was having difficulties with night feeding, I knew it was time to embrace the next step...exercise. I don't now if you remember, I tried to start a routine several months ago and failed miserably. I just wasn't able to keep it up. So I put that effort away until I became stronger and better equipped to face it.

Do you ever feel like the control you once had has spiraled out of control? I can't speak for everyone. For me, my eating met several needs. There was the need for physical comfort which I did not have and there was a need to gain some control over my life which I also didn't have. I wanted to hurt my parents for hurting me and so by hurting myself I thought they would eventually feel sorry for me and maybe even feel some since of remorse. Maybe they would realize how their bad parenting was affecting me. Obviously it did not work. The sad thing is... I came up with this notion as a child and still believed it would someday work as an adult. By the time I realized that my "plan" was not working I was already in way too deep...40 years deep to be exact. Okay. That realization came 8 years ago when my parents died. Wow! Has it been that long? I didn't realize it until this moment. I guess I have come along way, but it's also been a long time.

I've been actively trying to combat ED for 6 years and have been in therapy for 3. Please forgive me, I'm just realizing the timeframe for this process and that I'm still in the process of healing. Wow.

Okay, clearing the mind and getting back on task.  I realized that the dark shadow known as ED also has a voice. ED likes to tell me what to do. It tells me that I don't want to eat when I should eat. It tells me to eat when I shouldn't eat. It tells me what and how much to eat and so on.

I started exercising on August 22. Yes! I marked it on my calendar. I circle everyday that I exercise, missing only a couple days here and there. So far I've missed 4 days in September, 1 day in October and 1 day so far in November. That is excellent for me. I have already given myself a pat on the back and an A for effort :-) Moving forward...

You might be wondering why I'm not taking more days off like exercising 5-6 days per week and taking 1-2 days off. If I were strong enough and disciplined enough to do so I would, but I'm not. ED is an opportunist. ED resides in my mind and is always looking for any opportunity to stunt my ability to succeed in overcoming it. At this point I cannot allow my mind to rest on an option of having any amount of set days to take off. If I allow it to settle on a certain day or number of days to take off the voice of ED will become stronger, insisting that I take even more days off. This has been my experience in the past and why I have yet to successfully maintain a healthier lifestyle. I can't give ED any leeway.

By the way, I've picked up some of my methods from reading Life Without Ed, by Jenni Schaefer, which I have yet to finish. I do want to give a review of this book, even if everyone has already read it. I guess it comes down to my wanting to complete this goal, if for no one other than myself. It's just that important to me.

Sometimes it's difficult for me to want to exercise. Other times is seems to be as natural as breathing. One morning, about a 3 weeks into exercising, I heard a voice inside my head saying, "I don't want to exercise today." I thought to myself, that's not how I feel. Lies you tell." I AM going to exercise today and YOU can't stop me. I sat in my favorite prayer chair and asked God to give me the strength not to give in to my mind. Then I stood up and walk into my room and began to exercise. Tears stream down my face as I continue praying for strength, determined more than ever to not give up. I didn't give up. I did a full workout and I added a couple extra reps...just because. For the first time, I stood up to the voice inside my head. The voice that has given me so much misery all these years. Always telling me I'm not good enough and I'm too fat. How many times have I stood in the mirror listening to that voice tell me I was ugly. That I was so unattractive no decent man would ever want me. Yep, that's the one. I walked away victorious and I knew if I was able to stand up to that voice once, I would stand up to it again. Let the games begin!!!

It wasn't long after that glorious moment that I also discovered my night time feedings were no longer attached to my emotions, but rather a habit that I needed to break. That's pretty much where I stand today. I'm working on breaking the habit of snacking or placing anything in my mouth after a certain time. It's difficult right now...no matter. This too shall pass.

"That which is difficult for me today, will no be as difficult for me tomorrow."
 
"In every failure their is a path towards success."
These are two of my quotes. I say these quote to myself whenever things get difficult or I want to quit. I believe that anything I try to do today that is difficult for me to achieve will be less difficult for me tomorrow because I would have gained a little more knowledge and maybe even a little more ability. Besides, tomorrow is another day and a fresh new beginning.

Oh, I almost forgot. I am proud to report that I have lost weight. As promised, I will not give numbers. I just wanted to share my joy and surprise. I've only weighed once so far. I may weigh in again in another month or so. My goals are not centered around loss of pounds. I only have two goals to be honest. They are to exercise at least 20 minutes everyday, increasing slowly over time and to be healthier and look better in my clothes in two years. That's it.

Well, I'm going to call it a night. I've just finished my dinner and I'm ready to clean up and relax a little. For dinner tonight we had pan seared boneless, skinless chicken thighs, roasted potatoes and butternut squash and a salad. It was delicious and my son enjoyed it also.

Take care my friends.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Identifying and Dealing WithToxic People

Hi everyone! I'm so glad to be back to my writing, well at least a little bit. It's been a while and it feels have the time to write again. I've been busy...a very good busy...not having any drama or bad karma. I'm still doing well with my eating. And it's still a daily effort to put away those voices that tell me not to eat during the day and push me to find any reason to eat at night. Yes, they're still lingering around, but the good thing...they are not nearly as loud as they used to be.

All good things come to those who pray and wait.

There are still trials and triumphs in my life, but life is looking better every day and I am thankful for having hope. I am loving feeling good about myself and all that life has to offer.

Several months ago I wrote a couple posts, one being about Friendships (What kind of friend are you and assessing what kind of friends you have). I also wrote a post about abusive relationships which can be a major contributor to making unhealthy choices. In my personal experience I find it has been very beneficial to think not only about my relationship with foods, but also the kind of relationship I have with myself and other people. A little soul searching never hurts.

The reason I'm bringing up these posts is to say that I was not too far off bar when deciding to take a deeper look at my relationships. As a matter of fact, just a few minutes ago I came across a video on how to deal with toxic people. It's short but really packs a punch. I watched the video with my mouth open and head nodding most of the time. Every toxic type of personality described I knew. The good thing...I've been blessed to remove many of those toxic relationships out of my life. There are still a couple more to go. Rest assured, I'm working on it.

Anyway, immediately after watching the video I sat down to write this post. Please take a moment to listen and you too may be as shocked as I was on how many people you know are a perfect match to the toxic personalities described in this video.

If you find that you are in fact surrounding yourself with toxic people then it is time to take action and begin detoxing your life. When you start detoxing your life you will find that you have so much more energy and room for healthy thoughts, feelings and actions. I can't even begin to tell you how toxic people can drain you and put you in the same intense negative mindset as themselves. Believe me, you don't want to be on their level. You don't want to find yourself giving up on yourself or loosing hope for the future. Your happiness is so worth fighting for.

Have you ever felt completely drained after speaking to a person who never has anything positive to day? Toxic people find a way to always be around. It seems benign at first, but you begin to notice that they have managed to creep into your life every day. They are always on the other end of the phone or chat. And all they want is a captive audience to share their woes. 

You have the strength to let those toxic relationships go. At first you may feel like if you cut every negative relationship you won't have any relationships left. Not true. When you cut away the negative, toxic, constant stream of unhappiness...unhealthiness you will have made room for healthier relationships to come in. Toxic people take up space and time. They don't want you to be with anyone else but them. Let go of the toxic relationships. They are not good for you or your goals towards health, happiness and wellbeing. YES...you deserve to be happy! Watch the video below and share your thoughts.
NaturalSunshine.com: How to: Deal with Toxic People

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Information: Eating Disorders in African American/Black/Ethnic Women and Men

Greeting everyone! I hope you are well. I wanted to share a few good articles and interview that I found targeting eating disorders in African American/Black/EthnicWomen and Men.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: Eating Disorders in African Americans

Women of Color & Eating Disorders

Neda - Feeding Hope
Please take a moment to scroll down to the bottom of the article, Neda - Feeding Hope, to listen to Joy Keys interview special guests Stephanie Covington Armstrong, author of "Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat: A Story of Bulimia," and former NEDA Director of Programs, Laurie Vanderboom as they discuss the struggles black women face when seeking help for an eating disorder.

If you have trouble accessing the link for Joy Keys interview here is the direct link African American Women and Eating Disorders

Here's more information on Stephanie Covington Armstrong's book, Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat: A Story of Bulimia.  Not All Black Girls Know How To Eat

Eating Disorders and Minorities

I hope these articles and interview will help many minority women and men realized that they are not suffering alone and these issues need to be talked about. Don't let anyone tell you that African American/Blacks/Ethnics do not have eating disorders. Keep seeking help and reaching out to others. Help will come and healing will begin.

Stay strong and don't give up.