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! ‚úäūüŹĽ

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Quick Updates

Some points of this post:

  • Back to Free Eating
  • The Secret is Out – Erin Knows
  • The Need to be Perfect
  • Binging as Unwinding
  • Smile Direct Club
  • My Default is Dirty
  • Team Growth = Personal Growth
  • PHP Learning

Back to Free Eating:

Last night I binged. Today, I realized I trailed off a bit from Free Eating. I went back to restrictive a little bit. So I bought a sandwich and ate a bit extra. It’s important to eat enough throughout the day.

The Secret is Out – Erin Knows

In a way, telling Erin was my way of letting go of the shame. Binge eating is not something to be ashamed of. Neither is it completely the sufferers fault.

The Need to be Perfect

Finally getting around to truly letting this go. I’m starting to really believe in myself and in my capabilities. I’m not perfect, because perfection does not exist. I get in ‘trouble’ for something? So be it. It’ll pass. Things happen for a reason.

Binging as Unwinding

I binge to unwind just like someone else drinks a couple beers. This is a good realization as I can address it when the urge hits tonight.

Smile Direct Club

This came in last night. It feels so uncomfortable… invisiline¬†really is a test of will… I can easily take it off and toss it and end this discomfort. Or I can ride it out. How symbolic of it of binge eating, right?

My Default is Dirty

Kind of a nod to being perfect. I use to want to be perfect, clean, womanly, whatever. My default is messy. I eat messily, my room, my clothes, my hair, my skin, sometimes, I’m just a walking mess. And, I’m ok with that.

Team Growth = Personal Growth

No more will I hold on to knowledge, I will spread what I know. If my team looks good, I’ll look good. Success is not attributed to one thing or person. It’s all connected. So don’t flatter one self because success, but also, don’t fault one self because of failures either.

PHP Learning

I was obsessed with tweaking a wordpress template that required PHP. I started a tutorial on CodeAcademy. Let’s see how it goes..

Negativity + Awareness + Humility = Growth 

Some days I love myself. I am confident, I feel beautiful inside and out, I feel like a good person overall. Some days, like today, I feel really down about myself. Like dominoes, one occurrence perceived as negative leads to another, until I am bashing my character and my intent at the end of the day. I know that I am not alone in this paradox.

One thing that I love about myself is my endless pursuit of shedding layers of characteristics and beliefs that hold me back. 

Nothing terrible happened today. In fact, if you were to look at what I did you would think my day was great. The reason I don’t think so, is provided by the beliefs I have about myself based on my perceptions and judgement of how I acted, and what I thought.

I’ve been practicing meditation and mindfulness to discourage this act of judging myself and believing too much my negative perceptions. This practice and long with nutritional eating really helped clear my mind up. 

What is tripping me up recently may be the decrease in my meditation and the increase of processed foods due to my free eating method (a part of my binge eating recovery journey). 

I feel free because I am eating freely, but this eating freely cycles back to making me feel not so great mentally and physically. In a way, if this theory is correct, it may help me make better choices food wise based on how it makes me feel rather than based on the fear of weight gain. 

Here are things I feel good about:

  • Website development success 
  • No longer think any foods are bad 
  • Noticing affects of different types of food on my mood
  • Noticing difference of decrease meditation 
  • Feel productive and valuable at work 
  • I didn’t binge from the stress today 

Here are things I don’t feel good about: 

  • Website success adding to my ego, my humility isn’t where I want it to be 
  • Complained about manager to friend (gossip or letting off steam) 
  • Messy at home, roommates might be annoyed 
  • Felt ugly today, had video calls all day while looking very rough 
  • Countered my manager on a call with a bigger boss (not intensely but I feel anxiety from it)

See? These aren’t things that grant a bad day at all. It’s just my brain working over time. Which makes sense. Sometimes when I meditate, the most random thoughts come up. So now that there are actual occurrences in my day, my brain has something more fruitful to fixate on. No good, brain. But do as you please because what you resist persists. The game changer, though, is not believing in them. 

So the judgements of myself that is pulling me down? I don’t have to believe them. No matter how convincing they might be. There are certain things I can do, though, to make me feel better. 

Good mood enhancers: 

  • Get back on two meditation periods a day 
  • Get back on picking more nutritional food, while knowing that no food is bad 
  • Wake early enough to freshen up for work 
  • Openly talk with creative team about wanting to teach and encourage share of projects instead of hoarding 
  • Look into resources about enhancing humility 

I must continue to be patient with myself. The reason I didn’t eat more than the donut when I felt stressed today, was because I no longer seek instant gratification. The more instant it is, the less satisfying it will be in the long run. Mindfulness is a muscle that needs time to exercise. Also, I am understanding the concept of being ok with not feeling ok. There may be no fix for it right now, but you can do your best to at least not feel worse. 

I look forward to seeing if the actions above will help me arrive at a new playing field for my next personal growth pursuits. 

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 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!

WENTI + Recovery Update

WENTI

  1. Walk in the morning
  2. Eat what’s there
  3. No food is bad
  4. Talk isn’t stary
  5. I am enough

Walk in the Morning:

Cheeto and Chester needs their exercises each day. Cheeto, especially needs his arthritic back legs to be exercised. I need to get my blood going first thing in the morning. I added in a stretch this morning as well.

Eat What’s There:

Instead of chasing a certain lifestyle, I’ll eat what I intended to eat in my past purchases. No food should be wasted (it’s okay if you do). Eat up most of everything before the next grocery trip. Make mindful but not restrictive decisions.

No Food is Bad:

This is the key to my recovery. No food is bad. I absolutely love: Chips, chocolate, ice cream, meats, cheese, etc. Foods that I use to label as bad and off limits, foods that I feel I had ‘fucked up’ if I allowed myself to eat. Foods that I would try to undo the next day. Not anymore. No food is bad.

Talk isn’t Scary:

Talking isn’t scary and isn’t something to cause me anxiety. Often the act itself or the avoidance of it causes me to turn to food for comfort. There will be people I click with, there will be people I don’t click with, and that’s ok. There will be silences, and that’s okay too.

I am Enough:

Me, in this moment, is me. I am enough for whatever it is that my heart desires. If I don’t have what I desire yet, it’s because it hasn’t happened yet. Everyday, I grow from the person I was the day before.

Journey Update:

I’ve been mindful about exercise. I haven’t worked out to the extent I did a week ago. I have exercised with the intent of having fun, giving my pups exercise, and just getting my body moving rather than to burn calories. I’ve walked with Angie, and I’ve walked with Erin. I do want to have good workouts but I don’t want to live on the opposite ends of each pendulum anymore (extremes of eating and extremes of working out). I am to live in the middle. Eat what I enjoy, and enjoy burning off that energy.

I am still scared of the weight gain, but the positive side is that I should be more scared. The topic of weight has dominated my mind, pretty much, my whole life. The fact that I’m no longer resisting what I truly want to eat¬†should be¬†a scary thing. I’m handling it pretty well.

Yesterday:

In the morning, I walked my dogs. I didn’t work too much. My creativity is suffering from a blockage, and that’s ok. I can’t be super creative everyday. I went to the gym with Erin. We walked and talked for 2 miles, then I did some workouts that just kept my body moving around.

When I got home, I was quite hungry. Because I had in my head that I wasn’t restricting myself, I didn’t feel ravenous and I didn’t feel an urge to binge. I felt excited for what I was going to eat. That allowance gave me patience. I didn’t rush to food, I was able to wait just like my roommates. I showered, I talked, and I felt normal.

For dinner, choosing¬†what to eat at Boston Market was a challenge. My old self of calorie consciousness was fighting my current self of non-restriction. I met in the middle with a bowl of mac n’ cheese meatloaf, that seemed to not have that many calories – but who knows on that, really. In the past, I would have gotten chicken, side salad, and mac n’ cheese, while feeling guilty about eating the mac n’ cheese and the salad with cheese and dressing.

Jake got a pecan pie that he offered to us. I had one bite to taste. The reason I didn’t have more was because I knew I wanted to get a treat at the theaters. I wasn’t restricting, I was being mindful. I got a scoop and a half of chocolate ice cream (no cone), it was so good.

Yesterday, I mostly felt good eating it. I paid attention to the movie well. I did feel guilty at certain points while eating dinner and the ice cream throughout the night – it comes and goes. Again, it won’t be easy. These are thought patterns that are so old and habitual. It will take time for me to unlearn them. Weight gain will come with it, but not as much of the weight gain that puts me at 180 .lbs.

Something I didn’t do while I felt it yesterday was accepting the feeling of guilt, then letting it go. As I’m writing, I realize I was resisting the feeling of guilt. It’s okay to feel it, in fact, it’s important to allow myself to feel it. But, I shouldn’t believe in it. I’ll now observe the feeling of guilt, but I won’t believe that I truly should feel guilty. And I’ll let it go. Today, I’m not ‘undoing’ the foods I ate yesterday. I’m carrying on, and will eat what I want, but I will also be mindful of how it makes me feel.

Additional Mantra:

  1. Don’t resist feelings that come up
  2. Don’t’ believe in them either

Food Affects:

I didn’t eat carbs for each meal so I didn’t feel as lethargic. On Tuesday and Wednesday I ate rice for the majority of my meals. It didn’t fill me up and I felt lethargic. I should keep a food diary purely to track how I feel – but I’ll think on if I really need it or not.

Today:

Today I’ll continue to eat what I feel like eating but making mindful choices of its effects. I will allow myself to feel guilty but I will remind myself to not believe in why I should feel guilty. I will repeat that no food is bad. I have BJJ tonight as well that I’m excited for. I might go to the thrift store to find something to wear at formals tomorrow.

FIGHTING!

Recovery is Scary

Goal: 

Heal relationship with food and live a life free from an eating disorder.

Recovery Method:

  1. Eat when I want but really observe how I feel
  2. Eat what I want without labeling it good or bad
  3. Work towards being guilt free after eating what I want
  4. Exercise for the feeling rather than the calorie burn

Recovery is scary because:

  • You will eat more than you typically let yourself eat throughout the day
  • You will eat things that you typically would label as bad food
  • You will feel yourself gain weight and you will feel yourself want to exercise less

Recovery is amazing because:

  • You get to eat without a battle of¬†whether your portion was enough or not
  • You get to eat foods that use to be bad and now is¬†just food
  • You get to exercise for fun and not for the calorie burn & your weight will even out

Similarities of past struggles:

Pot: I use to smoke a lot of pot. At first it was wonderful, I felt creative and happy while high. There came a point where I wanted to be high at all hours of the day. There was stress with money around that because of how much it costs. Then, there came a point where being high caused me great anxiety. This cycle happened twice. Today I no longer smoke, but I also don’t label pot as ‘bad’. I don’t label people who use it as ‘bad’ either. I just know that I no longer get from it what I want to. It’s no longer appealing to me.

The cycle was: I tried pot, I didn’t portion control my usage, I became anxious, I stopped because of the anxiety, and now it doesn’t appeal to me anymore. I didn’t restrict myself from smoking it.

Relationship: Billy, my first boyfriend. I restricted myself from admitting that I liked Billy a lot because, truthly, I knew he didn’t like me as much as I liked him. Our relationship caused a lot of stress and it was unhealthy. Resisting my feelings was a way of denial – you must really want¬†the object if you have to put effort into resisting it. My way of protecting myself from being hurt by him was to act like I was better than him. But, this restriction made me want him even more. The moment I became honest with myself and honest with him, I no longer restricted myself from how I felt about him. I embraced it. Once he told me how he felt, it really did hurt. And I allowed myself to feel that hurt. But now, the hurt isn’t as strong anymore.

The cycle was: I resisted my feelings towards Billy, the feelings only grew, once I embraced it and was honest to him and myself about it, the feeling subsided and I moved on to other things

Imagine this…

There is a huge bucket of water way up high above you. The only thing that is keeping it upright and contained is the rope that it’s tide to, held in place by you that is standing beneath it. You’re in control. You hold tightly onto that rope to stay dry because you are deathly afraid of being wet. At first, you are strong and are able to hold it off with zero effort. You feel good and happy where you’re standing. You keep it up because you’re afraid of getting sick. Others are dry so you must be dry too. So you stand there, holding onto that rope.

Until you begin to get tired. You begin to get weak. You start to notice that others, who are dry, are freely walking around, while you are stuck in place. In control of this bucket. Your arms become sore, your hands are stressed. You’re not enjoying life, standing still underneath that bucket anymore. But you continue to hold on, until out of your control, the rope starts slipping from your hands.

One day, you decided to just let go. The bucket tipped over and poured all it’s content onto you. Just as expected, the pressure from the water hit you like a tsunami, knocking you over. Water got into your nose, your eyes, it made you cough. You sink to the ground. Others walk around you, looking down on you as you’re soaked. Once the pain from the collision subsides, you slowly get up. The bucket is still above you, swinging back and forth. Your arms are a bit sore, but it’s already starting to recover.

But, now that you’ve let go, you’re free to walk around.¬†But, you are uneasy. You’re still a bit wet, and you almost forgot how to put one foot in front of the other. But you continue on. As the weeks went on, you begin to dry. You start to feel yourself become happy again. You start to forget about your time under the bucket. You are walking around freely just as others are walking around freely! You are in control. You come back to your bucket, still empty swinging in the wind. You hold on to the rope, but nothing is there to pull against anymore. You leave it, and walk on.

The bucket of water is the fear of weight gain, the ‘bad foods’, the disappointment, the judgements from others. You holding onto that rope is the control¬†you think you are exuding over the contents in the bucket. But really, the bucket is controlling you. The more effort you put into holding that bucket in place, the more tired you’ll become. Once you stop resisting those things, it will hit you and it may hurt. But you will learn that it isn’t that bad, and you will learn that the fear of those things are greater than the fear itself (thanks FDR).

The Process:

That long analogy above is similar to restricting yourself from foods that you love. I love junk food, I love candy, I love chocolate, I love meats, and I love cheese. I love it all. But I wasn’t allowed to because others called me fat, and others told me what I was eating was making me fat, and so I began to believe it. So the foods that I once loved, I was taught to hate.

I hated it for over a decade it feels like. But, the more I hated it and the more I resisted it, the more I wanted it. The more I binged and binged until I couldn’t feel a thing anymore. I was holding on to that rope so tightly afraid of the water in the bucket – afraid of the weight gain. But each time I restricted, I would binge just as strongly. So…. this week, I decided I needed to let go of the rope. I needed to feel the rush of the water hit me (gaining weight from eating what I want), and I will allow myself to dry off.

The method I’m using is similar to the Billy and Pot method. No more resisting how I feel about it, I will embrace it. I love all those foods I listed up above. The difference though, is I also love being active. I love how it makes me feel when I can do things with my body. This is where moderation comes into play.

I am very terrible at moderation. But excessive uses from anything is caused by the desire to restrict it. That feeling of ‘today I’ll go all out but tomorrow I’ll be better’. Let go of that control & of that restriction, let go of that judgement, and everything can be done in moderation.

Long story short – the more you resist yourself from liking and wanting something, the more you will want it. If you allow yourself to admit to wanting it and letting yourself have it, the desire will go away.