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..

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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. 

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.

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.

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!

Day 1 of Freedom Eating

I’ve been eating what I want, and snacking when I feel like it. Although I do this, it is not guilt free. I still get the feeling that I need to eat better tomorrow to not gain weight. But, I’m not going to. I’m going to continue what I’m doing. Cravings can be controlled and I proved it while at a Mcdonald’s drive through just now. Prior to that, I felt hungry so I ventured into the kitchen and snacked on a bunch of treats, sugars, and pancake. Not a full blown binge, but grazing. After that we decided to go to Mcdonalds in which I ended up not ordering anything because I really wasn’t hungry and nothing sounded too good.

This was because I was eating when I wanted to throughout the day and snacking more often.

Feeling wise – I feel less stress from not having a strict structure or obsessing over ‘bad foods’ that I crave or had. I do feel not as energized, I feel bloated too, which isn’t great.

Goal addition: I want to keep the guilt free feeling but remove the bloat, weight gain in my chin feeling.

I think the more I allow myself to eat and the less I pressure myself to undue the damage, the less urges I’ll have to binge. I’m crumpling the structure I have around food while maintaining my activity structure. 

If this type of eating results in massive weight gain or a complete crash/decrease in exercise motivation, my next trial is to either eat only when I’m hungry (without food restriction).

My ultimate goal is to be able to hit my weight goal by being free from binge eating and food restriction and maintaining a healthy active lifestyle.