Control

I binged again last night. 

I’m releasing control today and beyond. 

Control….

Control…..

Control: the actions that one takes as a means to a desired end. 

I sincerely believe that everything that happens has values. That’s a statement that mimicks ‘everything happens for a reason’, but doesn’t rely on fate or destiney. 

In telling Erin about my BED, she reminded me of control being a factor in the disorder. Which leads to this mornings ponderings. Everything has a value – even BED. 

So… control. What are things I try to control in my life currently?

  • My appearance
  • External judgements of me
  • Food choices and intake (cravings) 
  • Perfection (not knowing when to let go) 

If there was one thing jiu jitsu taught me, it’s that you don’t win by willing control. You win by being present, going with what’s given, and reacting properly. Also, in parenting, you don’t succeed by trying to control your children. Control never works – it won’t work to cure binge eating, it won’t work to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

That’s what free eating did. I didn’t control cravings, but I was present and recognized my fullness. I reached by stopping. Binge eating is opposite. I controlled cravings, loss control of managing others judgements, and losing control of body shape. 

What I’m going to work on: 

  • Spread of the ‘non control’ I have at night to the rest of the day in a good balance 
  • Put my goals first, and let go of self judgements and mind reading judgements 
  • Continue to be natural. I’m my best without makeup or ‘sexy’ clothes
  • Meditation & Mindfulness 

Challenge: 

It’ll be a challenge to let go of the importance of others judgements. I relied on that so much in the past because I wasn’t confident enough in myself to judge myself. I’m growing to be confident though. Perhaps that’ll help me release that need for controlling others judgements. 

Be prepared for: 

  • Push and pull of the pursuit of releasing judgement 
  • Rushes of fear of weight gain from free eating 
  • A much happier life : ) 

Fighting! ✊🏻

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What You Resist, Persists

I lose myself in food because I hated who I was by about 7th grade onward. This is an open letter to no one and everyone:

I was never bullied. I didn’t get hit or ostracized. Marks weren’t left on my body, but bruises and scratches were committed on my self worth and body image. My body was not hit, but my heart and mind took a beating.

Growing up as a mixed Vietnamese girl, who had bones bigger than the norm I was the topic of poor body talk within the communities I was apart of. There’s so much in my past that is invisible to me – yet has affected me in ways that I can’t even imagine, that if I was aware of it, I might be better off. But that’s based on assumptions.

The point being, I was the subject of teasing growing up in the temple. I hated that place. It was filled with tiny vietnamese people who seemed to only carry judgement and hurtful remarks. I know not everyone was like that, and sometimes I think I only needed one person to throw me a rope, but no rope was thrown and I felt incredibly alone in the battle. I internalized it and turned it into something I truly believed in, that affects me to today – that I’m ugly and not good enough.

I was teased for being bigger. Remarks like, “You’re just as big as your mom”, or “You’re the youngest but the biggest”, or “Vien, eat this for me, your bigger so you can eat more”, or “Why can’t you be skinny like me, you can’t fit this costume”, god, I lived my Sundays in hiding. My mom forced me to go to a place where I would just get teased. Without a rope being thrown or tools to defend myself, I just soaked up all the comments up. Almost a decade later and I am still working through the scars they’ve left on my heart. I develop close relationships because close friends won’t judge me for how I look. I avoid groups because I’m trained to be put on the spot for the way I look. Temple really fucked me up.

This is the resentment I carry with me in my heart. By nature, I think I am outgoing. I use to want to play soccer, I use to want to be in dance with temple friends, I use to love hanging out with friends, but somewhere along the road, I stopped. Somewhere along the road, I let myself become isolated on a Saturday night. Driven to binge, and purge, and binge again.

How do I dig myself out of this hole that I allowed others to dig and put me in? Even forgiveness wouldn’t heal me, would it? Today I am fit and get less comments because I’m not around Vietnamese people. But if I were still overweight or still around Vietnamese people, that scar would be reopened again, and again… what would forgiveness do for me then?

I usually have a positive answer for problems I have in life, but this one, is the biggest hurdle I’ve ever had. Healing a deep wound without the help of those who put the wound there.

If I compared this to being shot, I wouldn’t care to be friends with the shooter, would I? If he shot me because he singled me out for whatever reason, it was not in my control. It was what he wanted to do. Once he shot me, I’m not going to run to him and beg for his approval. I would take the arrow out, and I would seek refuge elsewhere. I would recognize the decision the shooter made to shoot me, and judge him for his decision, rather than believing in the reason why he chose to shoot me. Perhaps therein lies tool that would have helped me then… it’s not too late, I can still use this tool now.

The belief system I had last night that led me to binge and purge was faulty thinking. So what if I was alone on a Saturday night, so what? What does that mean about me? It only means what I want it to mean. It only means what I allow myself to believe. Like I allowed myself to believe I was fat and uncool then. I just didn’t fit in

I didn’t fit in… I didn’t fit in anywhere.

What if I didn’t try to fit in? What if I just was me, and just observed things then, and now? Especially now? What you resist persists…

I resist not fitting in, I resist not being socially awkward, I resist wanting to be alone on a Saturday night, I resist foods that sounds delicious, I resist not being hurt by hurtful remarks. I’ve lived a life of resistance…

I’m not resisting anymore. Instead… I’m cooperating with who I am now… I’m not going to try to fit in or be liked. I’m not going to beat myself up for not having plans. I’m not going to stop myself from eating what I want to eat.

I’m going to start cooperating. It’ll be hard at first. But, this is my goal. To cooperate with my true self. I’m not fighting anymore.

I still need to practice getting out of my head. I will always need to practice this.. to be mindful. But I’m going to also start practicing cooperations with myself.

Tools to Move Forward With

What Went Well Yesterday:

  • I sat with boredom without binging
  • I played guitar and made music
  • I went to Jiu Jitsu
  • Although I binged, I drank a lot of water and didn’t eat as much as I could have eaten

What I’ll Work on Today:

  • Be mindful throughout the day
  • Be mindful when the urge hits
  • Be mindful when I feel negative thoughts seep in
  • Talk to people and hangout with friends
  • Meditate through binging urges
  • Observe all thoughts as they come in, then let them go (I’ve forgotten to do this lately)

Last night I binged. I felt the moment when my binge urges held on to negative talks. It was an eye opening experience. When there is no negative feelings, the binge urge has nothing to hang on to. It’s like taking a vitamin without any food, it has nothing to latch on to to make its affect. The negative feelings, though, must be caught after it pops up. It must be observed, then let go of. Without that observation and release, the negative thoughts rolls downhill, collecting other negative thoughts and making the ball of negativity even bigger until you forget to be mindful.

Although I binged, I feel I am still making my way towards breaking the cycle. Success isn’t linear, it has ups and downs, but it is going towards an upward direction.

If I were to examine yesterday’s happenings and what may have happened that led to the binge, I’ll expose:

  • Work: I felt uneasy throughout the day due to the fact that I didn’t put any hours into work
    • Although it was easy not to because management isn’t micro, I still feel the pressure of not using my time wisely and it biting me later on
  • BJJ: I got too caught up on the social aspect of the game. I took offense to something someone said or behaved and internalized it

If I were to repeat yesterday with what I plan to moving forward, I would have:

  • Work: Done my work despite no micro-management. There is a reason I felt uneasy. I would have done the work I laid out to do to avoid later feelings of uneasiness
    • When I apply myself – I often feel very good. It’s like practicing something you don’t have patience for, or doing something that requires mental exercise. It’s not fun to get started, but it’s fun amidst it. It’s more fun to challenge yourself than to do nothing at all.
    • Challenging yourself creates an accomplished feeling based off of effort, being stagnant creates an inadequate feeling even though you are adequate.
  • BJJ: I would have observed my thoughts that I had in response to external cues, without judging myself or identifying with what the thoughts were saying about me, then I would have let it go. Mindfully, I would have worked my way back into the task at hand.

In the rolling ball example from above, the first negative ball was formed when I felt uneasy about work. This led to mindlessness during BJJ which hindered me from being aware of my thoughts and feelings, and being aware to let these thoughts and feelings go. At this point, the ball was too big and the binge urge seeped its way into the ball. The ball needed to be broken with a binge.

What I learned:

  • Mindfulness throughout the whole day will help with mindfulness during moments where negative thoughts arise
  • Mindfulness is my protection

Meditation has taught me thoughts pop up randomly. All of positive, negative, and thoughts that make no sense at all. Binging likes to latch on to the negative thoughts and make it seem the most real, causing me to seek relief. Mindfulness will teach me that even those negative thoughts, that seem so real, are just uncontrollable thoughts. They’re just as useless.

Research:

  • Why are negative thoughts the most believable and persuasive?
    • All thoughts – positive and negative are not facts
    • Perhaps I shouldn’t seek why these thoughts are believable. Just as all thoughts are so random and sometimes senseless, negative thoughts are the same. What I should instead explore, is the strength to not believe them. And there is where the art of ‘observing & letting go’ comes into play
  • Why do you crave sugar after working out?
    • I need to look more into this, but from what I’m reading, post workout cravings happen because your body needs to replenish itself through carbs. Sugars are the quickest at this replenishing. Yesterday, after BJJ I was craving sugar. What I should have done was make myself a smoothie and added honey to it and call it good. 

Recap:

  • Practice mindfulness throughout the day
  • Observe all thoughts, both negative and positive, without judgement, then let them go
  • Be aware of cravings before and after workouts, give the body what it needs to work at the level you want it to work
  • Be aware of the Binge Ball – the ball the binges on negative thoughts that without observation and release, will collect other negative thoughts, until a binge is needed to break it apart

Today is a brand new day. My actions yesterday teaches me of what I want my actions today to be. Toodaloo!

 

 

Dear Journal

What Went Well Yesterday:

  • Met up with Grandbig and had indian with roommates + Z-shan & his sister
  • Didn’t go into a full fledge binge after having indulging in a cheeseburger, dipped ice cream cone, and 3 cookies from mcdonalds…after having two biscuits and meat gravy for dinner
  • Connected my post-binge self with my craving self to stop the binge
  • Meditated even though I was lazy
  • Played guitar and shopped instead of binging (even though I still did with Mcdonald’s later, I delayed it with these activities

What I’ll Work on Today:

  • Maintain mindfulness during meals. I watched my shows yesterday while eating Mcdonalds instead of being mindful
  • Maintain mindfulness throughout the whole day. I feel myself over thinking and causing my mood to be not as happy so mindfulness will help with that
  • Go to bed with a question for my subconscious. Again, I forget to do this
  • Be mindful when talking with my roommates. Sometimes I reflect them so much that I don’t know what to say because I get lost in being someone I’m not, just to fit in. I don’t have to fit in is what I need to realize

After eating Mcdonalds, I didn’t continue to snack. I finished my show at a timely time, meditated and went to bed. I slept soundly. Even though I wasn’t uncomfortably full. What that means is I probably need to eat a little snack before bed, something like cereal and stop at that. Not feel guilty or anything about it.

New rule:

  • No eating after 7:30pm except for a sleep aid snack: cereal and milk

Binge Shackle, Link by Link

Yesterday we all went out (except for Lola) because Z-Shan was in town. We stayed out until 3am. I drank no more than a glass of wine and a sip of a shot. The night went south when we ate Gyros at about 2am. I contemplated on whether or not I should get one but my appetite told me to.

Once we go home, I caved into cookies. Then when everyone went to bed, I caved into more cookies, chips and salsa, a biscuit & drenched in butter, about 5 or 6 mcnuggets, and meat gravy. When I was binging, I told myself it was so that I could get better sleep.

No, it was an excuse my mindless mind told me so that I would continue to eat the addicting food.

My will power is not weak… or should I say, my ability to turn my life around is quite strong. I effortless stopped smoking pot because it caused me anxiety, I effortlessly stopped drinking caffeine because it felt unnatural, I effortless eat quite healthy during the day, I effortlessly run and keep active. I do all these good things effortlessly, but when it comes to food, it’s a challenge.

Unlike anything else, food isn’t a black or white thing. I need it to live.

If I take a step back from feeling the guilt of binging, I can see the progress that I have made in this journey towards breaking the shackle. One link was broken when I stopped binging during the day, another stopped when I stopped binging during t.v. time with my roommates, another broke when I stopped binging for days on end after I broke the seal on a day. The current link that remains is the link that ties me to the craving during night time.

Recently, meditation has made me realize the random and uncontrollable thoughts that pop up in my head, and the randomness of it made me realize that these thoughts mean nothing and I am able to let them go. Food craving thoughts, though, are tied to an actual feeling – hunger. This hunger acts as evidence to me that I need to act on this thought rather than letting it go.

What I did not do last night at 3 am, was ground myself in the moment. I kept thinking about food but I didn’t yank those thoughts back into my breath and back into the moment. I didn’t let those thoughts go like I do with other thoughts. I kept it there, I let it brew and I let it blossom until it took over.

Plan of action:

  • Continue mindfulness. During last night’s episode I was kind of mindful but the excuse of better sleep kept me going
  • I am excited for the next challenge where I will ground myself and build the muscle of yanking my thoughts back into my breath from the thoughts of cravings
  • Connect my post binge self, (disappointment, the fullness) with the self that contemplates before the binge starts. It’s the same self…what feels good then will hurt the same self later
  • Abide by rules. Because food is a necessity, I must create boundaries for myself and accept that I can’t have the luxury of caving in like other do (eating at 2am and simply stopping at that one food). Last night, in front of the food truck, my rule would have said absolutely not because I know it will lead to a binge.

Breaking the shackles of binging is not as easy as other life changes I have made, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I have made great leaps in my life with this pursuit already, and I feel I am at my last few links. What I am going to ingrain into myself is the rule of mindfulness eating, the realization that I’m different from other people in that I binge and because of that, my actions must be different from them in regards to food – and I must realize that that’s ok. Just because others are eating, it does not mean that I have to. I am not a party pooper for not eating, or not drinking. I am still me. I must realize that the hunger feeling is ok to have. And I am aware of when and why it strikes (hunger at night). It’s okay to feel hunger and just because thoughts of cravings (just like other random thoughts I let go) are paired with uncomfortable feelings in my gut, it doesn’t mean I have no control over my next moves.

I am going to go on a run now, it’s beautiful outside. Chester is officially my running buddy now. Vien, Fighting!

 

Binging and Sleep – Big Revelation!

What went well yesterday:

  • Jiu Jitsu class was awesome. I got a great workout in. I’m becoming better and better at assuming whomever I roll with as just a body instead of a man’s body. It makes for a much more intense and fun roll.
  • I didn’t eat past 7:30pm
  • I meditated twice
  • I went to bed at 10:30pm
  • Got a bonus from work
  • Had a great workout in the morning

What to improve on today:

  • Be more mindful when eating, especially when eating snacks
  • Check in more regularly in a way of mindfulness throughout the day
  • Put more effort into meditating to sleep
  • I will be more mindful of accepting carbs later in the day to induce sleep
  • Go to bed with a question for my subconscience. I forgot to do that yesterday

Sleeplessness & Binging: 

I think I discovered a breakthrough during my walk this morning. I don’t sleep very well these days. Ever since I started watching Korean dramas into the night, ever since I stopped eating late at night, and ever since I started working out twice a day, I’ve only been able to sleep for 5-6 hours a night. For example, I went to bed at 10:30pm last night, but woke at 3am.

I realized that binging was my bodies way of getting what it needed to put me to sleep. A quick search for foods that induce sleep exposed the foods I typically starts my binges at night: cereal with milk, peanut butter on toast, or cheese and crackers!

In searching the web, it looks like eating low carb may be the reason I’m finding it hard to fall asleep. That is why I’m going to be more mindful of eating more carbs later in the day to hopefully help me get to sleep.

Plan for today:

I’m working until 4 or 4:30pm, then I will go to the gym for a relaxing swim. I will sauna afterwards, shower, then hopefully have dinner with Erin. I don’t have plans tonight so I may sleep earlier… we’ll see. I have more episodes to watch of my Korean dramas.

 

 

Bloat Be Gone

Yesterday was a challenge not binging. I watched a few videos of people addressing binge eating and here are some helpful tips that I am starting:

Mark Hyman, MD (YouTube)Mark Hyman, MD (YouTube)

  1. Get educated:
    • Insulin – sugar hormone
    • Leptin – affected by sugar, gets broken by it
    • Ghrelin – hunger hormone
    • Peptide YY – hunger hormone
    • Cortisol – stress hormone
  2. Protein in the morning to balance blood sugar levels
  3. Good protein and good quality fats throughout the day (avocado, coconut, chicken, fish, grass fed meat)
  4. Supplements – I’m taking most of what the doctor suggested except for Fiber PGX. I must take it 10 minutes before eating dinner. I think adding fiber will be good to my diet.
  5. Stress – sleep is important in reducing stress. When you fight sleep your hunger rises and fullness goes down

The tips above encouraged me to have eggs this morning, also, it encouraged me to watch my Korean Drama outside of the bedroom because I know watching it in bed would make me continue the episodes. Last night, I watched an episode and a half, stopped and went to bed at midnight. I slept with ear buds on and made sure I washed my face and brushed my teeth.

Fat Meets Fire

  1. Mental Break – give yourself a break from the ‘I want to lose weight’ mentality
  2. Don’t rush weight loss
  3. Avoid trigger food – chips
  4. Abundance of whole foods
  5. Put self around others
  6. Set goals
  7. Replace action (game, walks, Korean Dramas 😉 )
  8. Workout for the enjoyment
  9. Eat more

The bolded are the most challenging points. Weight has been at the forefront of my mind since High School age. But, for the life I want to live, it can’t be anymore. The present moment is what I want at the forefront of my mind, for the rest of my life. The present moment is what will bring me peace, through comfort & discomfort, through joy & pain. The tips above encouraged me to go swimming at 8:30pm last night, the “workout for the enjoyment” encouraged me to stop after 30 minutes once I felt I had my fill. It also encouraged me to eat more meat & to have a bowl of cereal past dinner time.

I hate that I binge, but, after binges are when some things about my life and my actions come to light. During my swim yesterday, I felt really motivated to think about my life, and think about what it is that I want. I had a tough time growing up, dealing with fat jokes when I was with Vietnamese friends, and family. I didn’t know how to cope with it, I didn’t have it in me to brush it off. My parents didn’t defend me, neither did my siblings. I was led to believe in those comments and led into hating my appearance. Being thin meant that I could be left alone. I use to hangout in the bathrooms at temple to avoid nasty comments and jokes. But I was alone in that experience, I had no one to confide in. My weight was my enemy, but food was my friend. Thinness was the goal because being perfect protected me from hurtful comments of others, comments I wasn’t strong enough to not believe in.

Today, I live with a very unhealthy relationship with food. I am out of the house, I’m independent, I’ve gotten into great shape, not perfect, but my endurance and strength is good. But the unhealthy relationship I have with food & my dissatisfaction with my appearance holds me back from becoming the woman I want to be.

Perfection is a source of protection. My type of perfection, though, is outlined by what I think others want. It’s not my idea of perfection. I am killing myself to mold myself into the silhouette of someone else’s creation.

During my swim, a question that popped out of my pondering was, what is it that I am so unhappy about that I lack? What is it that food is helping me cope with? I’m at a place in life where I feel I am in control of my destiny. That brings me peace. So, why do I binge? I think binging sneaks its way into little openings where I am a bit vulnerable to judging myself mixed with the very strong pull of habitual action. I think I am getting closer to freedom as it’s habit that I must break, rather than emotions I must decipher.

This is what I want in my life.

  1. A loving husband in which I am whole heartedly connected to
  2. My own family in which love is unconditional, support is endless, and communication is effortless
  3. I have a great relationship with food – I use my senses to judge whether or not I need to eat more. I am free from the binging shackles
  4. I use sport as release and a source of having fun
  5. I am master of living in the moment – this creates enjoyment in work and in social relations

I never thought I was good enough to get what I want out of life. I thought being perfect, thin, smart, accomplished was the only way I would get what I want out of life. I am changing that thought now. Although, I want to be fit, smart, and motivated, the goal isn’t perfection. The goal is to be present and see where my present and mindful self takes me. I truly think, my present and mindful self is the key to getting what I want out of life. If I don’t get number 1 or 2, I am content with the rest on the list too.