Life Changes – The Big Move

To move to California or to move into a downtown apartment with Hana. That is the question of the next 3 months. Our lease is up July 31st, and I was set on option #2, but something triggered the California dream once more today.

I was walking on the track at my gym, just leisurely. At first, I was looking up pictures of my new crush Park Seo Joon. I went as far as to put his images on my iPhone wallpaper. Then I thought about what others would think if they saw it (ie. Dave) and I thought if the roles were reversed, I would be turned off.

The desire to see Park’s face everyday triggered the realization that, I don’t want who I can’t ever be with to be plastered on my phone, reminding me of what I can’t have. Also, the realization that I’m thinking of what ie. Dave would think triggered another question in regards to my life. I was valuing myself based on others, rather than just living my own life.

Who am I and who do I want to be? And not so much of, who do others want me to be and who do I want to be with (purely on attraction). 

I started looking up other backgrounds, and thought of the ocean… and then I thought of surfing & California….

A year ago, my ex and I were a few months away from packing up our lives and moving to California. I called it quits, instead, to both the relationship and the move. In my mind, I merely postpone the move. In my gut, I know that I won’t be fulfilled if I live my entire life in Missouri. If I move downtown, I feel I will want something else afterwards.

This gut feeling, that I’m trying to also figure out if it’s just impulse, is what’s making California a serious contender in my life change.

What holds me back are:

  • close friends (ENFP personality here)
  • family (mom, dad, Cong, Lily)
  • jiu jitsu (community at Gracie Humaita)
  • independence & change (living with Hana only)

What pushes me forward:

  • California aroma (beautiful weather)
  • beaches (chester & cheeto can finally see the beach)
  • more opportunities & connections (music & activities)
  • family (mo, mike, and Nathan)
  • mo’s restaurant (a place to go to when bored)
  • rent savings (can save up for own place)

I’m going to let it simmer for a few days. This decision is really based on what I am imagining my future to be. It’s a hard decision, because it’s merely predictions of both outcomes. There is no such thing as a right or wrong decision, there are only decisions. Neither are decisions final.

One thing I thought of when I was walking was the fact that, even though the things that are great are great here, it doesn’t mean I can’t… be apart from it for now. We don’t always close the doors to bad things. Sometimes, we have to make the decision to close the doors to good things, in the pursuit of something else that might push us even farther and closer to where we want to be, who we want to be. Although, I’m not really closing the door on the great things here, I am just putting it on hold while I go exploring.

I’m not sure what that thing I am getting closer to is, but my gut is telling me to go explore it. Maybe it’s not my intuition telling me that California is the holy grail, but more so, it’s telling me to try something so that I can move on to something else if I don’t like living there.

Similar to confessing to my ex that I loved him just to end the chase we partook in for years. He rejected me, but that allowed me to move on to the next thing. It’s like dominos, a piece can’t fall without being pushed by the piece before it. Perhaps this big move isn’t about California. The move is just packed with lessons that will push my next piece. It might lead me back to Kansas City, it might lead me elsewhere. But, I will be a more experienced person for it. Others may see it as failure, or “I told you so”. But, I will understand what I gained from it, and I would learn even more about my likes and dislikes, rather than just guessing and dreaming.

This post sounds like I made up my mind… but I’ll let it simmer.

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Drunk

I’m drunk and I feel as if I’m on the prowl. I am single and ready to mingle. But the mingle isn’t ready for me. I’m sitting at a table, Erin’s friends are around chatting. I could be chatting too but I’m not. Probably because I’m too focus on being on the prowl. Why? Because apparently attention from the opposite sex means more. 

And now. I realize that is not the case at all. Fuck this. I’m gonna get up and mingle and have fun. Fuck the opposite sex! 

Lessons Learned from Yesterday’s Splurge

What went well yesterday:

  • I was really productive at work and am doing a good job at managing my workload/time
  • I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full
  • I walked because I wanted to move and had nothing else I wanted to do
  • I walked with pups in the morning
  • I met my co-workers for lunch (I work remotely)
  • I started a new song

Concerns of yesterday:

  • I ate too little at dinner which led to overeating after my hour walk
  • I may be stretching myself too thin across different tasks at work
  • I felt a bit of weight fear during dinner

What I’ll work on today:

  • More mindfulness throughout the day during work and eating
  • Be more aware of eating enough
  • Eat what I want, while thinking no food is bad, stopping when my instincts tell me it’s enough
  • Be patient as I work and be honest with my boss when I’m concerned about my workload this week
  • Continue to imagine the size of my stomach and what it could hold. This helps me eat what I want, and stop when that stomach gets filled adequately.

Mantras

  • Walk in the morning
  • No food is bad
  • Eat what’s there
  • Talk isn’t scary
  • I’m enough
  • Allow guilt to come, without judgement, and allow it to leave

Closing observations of yesterday:

I ate more dessert last night than I needed. This might have been from my body’s scream for endorphin due to the cortisol increases from underlying work stress. Although I wasn’t super stressed, I think my body is sensitive to it and is warning me about it. This tells me I might be losing control at work and my expectations. I am seeking control through refocusing on my weight (not eating enough during dinner).

I could view last night as a failure, or I could view it as a success. As in, I could view it as a step backwards or half a step forward. I choose the ladder. Recovery isn’t a straight line, nor is it black and white.

Not Doing Anything

Sitting silently situated on a couch
I am defiantly doing nothing now
I use to ache for action and excitement
But now I yearn for peace & enlightenment
I hear your purpose is slow to come
Purpose is purposely different for everyone
The world would be bland if we were all the same
Yet ironically the same is what makes us appear sane
My dog is whining crying for a run
But I am defiantly letting things go undone
Sometimes I fear I am wasting time
But in truth what we fear is falling behind
It isn’t the riches, glory, or material things
That brings you happiness you think it brings
It’s being able to sit still situated in silence
Not chasing a thing, just welcoming enlightenment

I’m laying on my couch with Chester nestled on me. Today would be a day I would have binged. The ingredients were there: new uncertain projects at work, work drama and stress from yesterday, residual negative thoughts coming up today.

The poem above speaks to meditation. I use to be uncomfortable with doing nothing and had to fill my time up. I also feared I would binge if I sat in silence for too long. But in this moment, I don’t feel like doing anything nor am I reaching for food as a filler. That’s because I want to be able to sit still and be mindful. To do what appears to be nothing, but is the most important something I’ve realized I wasn’t able to do before.

The main question or thought from the day is the idea that I’m falling behind because I’m choosing to just sit here instead of working towards something. It’s interesting that typically, I would distract myself with tv or my phone, but really, that’s not me working towards something either. It’s more fruitful to sit without distractions, though, because then I can practice mindfulness. This is the practice of observing the random and uncontrollable thoughts that come up, without judgement, then letting them go. This action is that important something I mentioned above.

Anyways… admittedly, I’ve been writing this post up so I haven’t really just sat in silence doing nothing. So… here I go.

Gossip

Gossip may be the death of me. This is something I hate to partake in, but sometimes I do to appease the gossiper. I use to do this a lot more, but I lately I have been making it a point not to and to question the gossiper.

Someone I’m close to went straight to HR to complain about our manager. Of course this bites us in the end. I’ve tried my best to not get involved in gossip, but I’m still involved because I’m in the chat.

Anyways, I’m feeling really confused and overwhelmed because I was dragged in to be a part of the group that complained when, really, I love what’s going on. But I feel like my hands are tied because I am very close to the person that is bringing up the drama. I feel I can’t be honest about it with my managers because who knows who they will talk to. I don’t know what to do.

What do I want them to know?

  • I want them to know that I don’t have grievances towards how they run the department
  • I want them to know much of the commotion may be caused by the fear that the creative department might not be needed, or we’d be subjected to mundane tasks
  • I want them to know that I deeply apologize for anything that they’ve heard that hurt their feelings. I despise office gossip
  • I agree that problems should be brought up in the moment instead of letting it brew and I’ll do a better job at encouraging that

I feel like writing this out makes me feel like I’m groveling and makes me feel like I’m admitting to being the shit stirrer. But I’m not. I’ve tried my best to stay neutral. I’m going to talk to Tiffany and sees what she thinks. Or maybe I’ll talk to Mo.

I hate feeling this way. And I’m actually pretty upset at this close person. I truly think it could have been handled much much better, but I wasn’t the one who suggested a change in that. I just went along with it. Lesson learned.

How to Stop Binge Eating Through Free Eating

This is a work in progress post. I’ve only written up to stage 2 which is the stage I am in. One day, I hope to complete the stages guided by my own up to date experiences. The final stage being complete recovery!

Free eating is a style of eating that is my own version of a group of methods I’ve picked up from various resources and activities. This style was formed in an effort to recover from binge eating disorder. The ultimate goal of this pursuit is to eat what you love & love what you eat which in turn, will make you a much more happier person 🙂

The main engine of ‘free eating’ runs on the theory that what you resist will persist, and what you embrace will disappear. Try this – set a timer for 1 minute, then do your best to not think of 2 yellow lab puppies playing in the yard. Go!

If you’re like me, it will be very difficult for you to not think of the 2 puppies. This example shows how difficult it can be for the human mind to let go of something that it is told to resist. Now replace the 2 puppies with images of the foods you have told yourself is bad for as long as you’ve suffered from disorderly eating.

When you resist your cravings for these foods, you are feeding to the persistence of the cravings. It will grow stronger and stronger until it finds a weak spot in your resolve. Before you know it, you are hectically shoving everything you labeled as bad, down your throat before anyone could witness.

In my own experience, I have told myself that I couldn’t have the donuts, ice cream, slim jims, chips, etc. that my heart truly loved for over 10 years. I was told they would make me fat and so I labeled them as bad. Because of this resistance, my cravings for them persisted and I’ve suffered from disorderly eating and yo yo dieting.

I cannot tell you how happy it made me when I started this journey. I told myself that it was okay to love these ‘bad foods’, and that they aren’t really ‘bad’ at all! Try this – think of all the foods you have labeled as off limits or bad, and mentally flip the switch from ‘those are bad’ to ‘they are delicious and you can love them!’. How does that make you feel? Anxious? Nervous? Happy? Reflect on that feeling.

Many of the recovery resources you find out there will tell you to eat intuitively and not to resist urges. But I didn’t understand why it was telling me not to resist. If I don’t resist, then I will binge and gain weight! As I began to really contemplate on the idea of ‘what you resist persists’, I began to really understand these resources. The more I allow myself to eat what I crave when I craved it, the less I will obsess over it & the less I will want to binge on it.

Stages of Free Eating. If you choose to use this style, please be aware of some things. This method will only work if you are mindful of your pursuit. Also, it may or may not work for you, it may even be another resource you choose to only adopt pieces of like I did with other resources. There are so many different diets & resources out there simply because there are so many unique experiences out there. Every recovery journey is different, so it’ll take different methods. I hope you can gain some progress through this.

Stage 1: 

The purpose of this stage is to introduce a welcoming atmosphere to foods you use to restrict yourself from. You will continue to mentally repeat that no food is bad until it is apart of your belief system.

Eating: Eat what you want when you crave it.

Thinking: No food is bad, this food sounds good so I’ll eat it. I’ll try to stop when I’ve had my fill. When I’m done, I won’t think I ‘messed up’. I can also have more if that’s what I am craving. I am not ‘controlling’ my willpower over these cravings. The next day, I will not try to ‘undo’ what I ate. I did nothing bad, I simply ate what sounded good.

Challenge: Feelings of guilt and worry will arise.

Action: Let feelings of guilt and worry come. Do not resist or ignore them. Instead, observe what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling, then let those feelings pass like clouds in the sky.

Expect: You will gain a bit of weight as you start to eat what you use to resist. But know that that is natural and comes with stage 1 as you explore your cravings. Accept this fact, don’t resist it, and carry on with your day.

Once you begin to notice your binge urges subside, you are on your way to stage 2. You will know you are on your way to stage 2 when you feel less and less guilty about eating what you use to label as ‘bad’. And once you notice your urges decrease significantly.

Stage 2:

Once you have noticed the urges have decreased you are in stage two. You will still continue to train your muscle to believe that no food is bad. This is my current stage. I will continue it once I live through it : )

 

 

Not a Binge

My support friend and I have been trying something different. We have been repeating to ourselves that no food is bad. I have been ordering and eating what I want, with the goal of stopping when I’m full. For one week now, I have not had a binge on this method. That doesn’t mean I haven’t eaten more than I needed, it means I haven’t hidden away and gorged on any and all foods within reach while feeling numb and mindless.

Yesterday was the first truly successful day of eating what I want, stopping when I’m full, regardless of what was left on the plate. I went on a road trip with sorority sisters to a formals event back in our college town.

Not obsessing over what I can and cannot eat helped me stay in the moment and be present with everyone. It was one of the best days I’ve had. I laughed, I joked, I ate, and I let negative thoughts pass like thought clouds.

Mindful eating was successful – until we went out on the town at midnight.

Every meal breakfast and lunch was restaurant bought, dinner was catered. At each restaurant I tried listening to my instincts to order what sounded good. For breakfast I had mcdonald’s breakfast sandwich, a hash brown, and an orange juice. I actually did not finish my foods. How I didn’t finish was by telling myself that I I’m no longer restricting, and good food will keep coming. As long as I don’t eat till I’m uncomfortable. The mindset of no food is bad and good food will not end helps my animal instincts relax and make decisions based on feel rather than deprivation. I can tell it’s a muscle that is very weak because of how uncomfortable it is, but it’s a muscle I really want to build because for the first time – this truly feels like progress (knock on wood).

The scary part is I have not been weighing myself and I know weight gain is inevitable. The goal is, though, to not yo-yo as I have in the past. It’s okay if I gain some weight, as long as I’m healthy and not eating disorderly. In the long run, the weight I gain now while I learn how to eat will be less than the overall weight I would gain if I kept myself on the same binge and purge (through exercise) cycle I’ve been on.

Nighttime Woes:

So during the night time, my friends and I ate junk food while drunk. I ate more than others, but, I didn’t eat uncontrollably (I ate much much more than I needed), but I wasn’t deathly uncomfortable by bedtime. I didn’t sneak away or feel the strong urge to destroy the kitchen when everyone left.

That’s a success – although it’s not perfect. I did feel guilty waking up this morning. In reflection, it truly isn’t guilt. It’s fear. This lingering fear of weight gain and loss of attention from attraction is the heart of my fear. Also being teased by asians too.

But, I must remind myself. This recovery journey is about me and my health. It’s about not binging anymore and it’s about living a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. My ultimate goal is to love my body and to be sustainably and naturally fit.

My mantras:

  1. Walk in the morning
  2. No food is bad
  3. Eat what is there
  4. Talk isn’t scary
  5. I am enough
  6. Allow myself to feel guilt, observe, and let it go

Today:

Instead of running umteen miles like I usually do in a subconscious effort to control weight, I hit up a girlfriend to go walk our dogs. This makes the energy burn much more fun and fruitful – also less taxing on my body & my pups get to burn energy too.

I’ll continue to live out my mantras above as well.

FIGHTING!