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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Todays Theme: I chucked the Tums


This morning I got up and cleaned the bathroom sink.  The bathroom is now packed up and cleaned for the next tenant.  There’s still stuff in there because I don’t move out completely for 13 days, but everything that can be removed and cleaned is taken care of.
Then I moved into the bedroom.  I can’t get everything out of there, I have some shelving and furniture that has to be somewhere until it goes on a truck to Westfield, but I have to organize things and clean it up so that it’s presentable for anyone who might want to look at it this weekend.
I looked around and was at a bit of a loss as to where to start, but I noticed a Tum on the floor.  Tum?  It says Tums on the bottle, I assume that’s plural for Tum.  Anyway, I had knocked the bottle off my nightstand several times and the top is broken and several Tums had fallen out.  So I picked up the individual Tums and the bottle and put it in the trash.
So what, you may be thinking.
In the past I have eaten Tums daily.  I had written it off to my job.  I was in charge of environmental policy and compliance for an electric company.  I was on-call every third week.  Every time it was windy I was certain that I would have to spend the night out at a spill site.  I didn’t sleep well.  I was intensely stressed by my job.
I always believed that was what caused my fairly constant heart burn.
Then in 2009 I stopped eating sugar.
And I stopped eating Tums.
Hmmmmmm.
Then I started eating sugar again.  I didn’t start eating Tums right away, it took awhile.
It took awhile because I didn’t start out eating pounds of sugar every day.  I started with a little bit here and there.  But last fall it started building and by the beginning of this year I was eating a s*&t ton of sugar.
I try to stay away from expletives here, but that is the only way it’s coming into my head right now.
I was eating an obscene amount of sugar earlier this year.  And I was consuming a lot of Tums.
Indigestion.  Bloat.  Gas.  Discomfort.  Constantly.
Tums would help.  After the second or third dose.
But it always came back.
Today I threw out the Tums.  I’m 64 days sugar free.  I have a ton of stress - it’s a slow time at work so my finances are in very bad shape and I’m moving.  I don’t have indigestion, I don’t have bloat, I don’t have discomfort.
That is what sugar free life is like, comfortable.  Even with all that stress, I feel good.  I don’t need Tums.
Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself.  You won’t regret it, I promise.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Todays Theme: I hear the food here is healthy, I plan to lose 10 pounds


Yesterday a woman said to me, I hope to lose 10 pounds while I’m here, I hear the food is really healthy.
This was said as if healthy food guaranteed weight loss.
Where I work there is an abundance of incredibly healthy, incredibly tasty food.  It is buffet style and you can eat as much as you like.  If food is an issue for you, it’s not a place you’ll lose weight.
I was fascinated by the idea - the food is healthy, thus I will lose weight.
Healthy food isn’t awful.  Healthy food isn’t something you choke down to keep your body going because you have to.  Well, some healthy food is like that.  But it doesn’t have to be.
It strikes me that this woman was looking outside herself.  She hasn’t been able to do it on her own so she went on a retreat where they have healthy food (that can’t possibly be good enough to over consume), remove herself from all the normal stressors of life and finally lose the weight.
It can work like that.  Everything works for at least one person, that’s how stuff gains credibility.  But for most people it doesn’t.  
Of course most people think hypnosis is crap and that’s how I conquered my sugar demon.  I’m not judging this woman, I was just deeply intrigued.  Her tone clearly stated that she would lose weight because the food was healthy - and she wouldn’t eat much.
I hope she is massively successful this week.  She was really interesting and it would be great if she finds what she’s looking for.
Do me a favor though, healthy food isn’t crappy nuts and twigs.  It can be super enjoyable and it can help you lose weight, just don’t put all the power in the food.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Todays Theme: It's all in how you look at it.


What did you do today?  I went to work.  I had two services and planned to head home right after to work on my packing.  Then a half hour popped up following the second service and then a client needed an appointment after his work at 5.  So I didn’t get any packing done.
OH - I got to see my friend Christine, the owner of Optimum Health Therapeutic Massage, before my first service.  Christine and I are both crazed at the moment, but we always have fun talking.  She is a great person to hang out with and to work for.
Between the third and last services I went over to the dealership where I bought my car to get a form filled out so I can get a Massachusetts registration without paying sales tax again.  I dropped a couple bags of donations off at the Salvation Army.  I stopped at Kohl’s and tried on some Levi’s, turns out I’m a perfect 12 and a sausage 10 so I have some more weight to lose.  That said - I looked good in those jeans, real good.
My boss paid me a little extra for one of my services today.
Tomorrow I go meet kitties.
Today I made arrangements for a friend to refurbish the butcher block island my parents have stored in their basement for years so I can have it in my kitchen.
In nine days I’m going to a wedding where I will know 44 other guests, plus the bride and groom.  That’s a first for me, usually I don’t know anyone which is torture.  It will be a blast.
On the 24th I start moving into my new apartment.  In the meantime I’ve gotten my new license and changed my address at work and elsewhere.
I had bacon tonight.  No fruit, no sugar, no avocado, no rice, no beans.  But bacon.  No more needs to be said about that.
As you can see - today was a great day.
Like I said yesterday, sometimes you can “just get over it.”
But you have to change your perspective to make that work.
It’s all in how you look at it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Todays Theme: Just get over it.


I have had a couple of fairly significant bouts of depression in my life.  I was in my mid 30s during one and living with my parents.  I’m sure part of the depression was because . . . well it seems obvious right?  I was living with my parents.
That wasn’t the only thing though.  I had gone through a devastating break up.  I wasn’t able to find a job after graduating law school.  I was working as a temp.
All while living with my parents.
I went through about a week where I couldn’t get out of bed.
My mother, who is very practical, said, “just get over it.”  I tried to explain to her that I couldn’t “just get over it.”  If I could have, I would have.  I was not enjoying the time in bed.  I was not enjoying losing a temp job because I just couldn’t get out of bed.  It was awful and I wanted to “just get over it,” but I couldn’t.
At that point I couldn’t even put a good face on it, all I could do was lie in bed.
Most times when I have dealt with depression I have been able to put a good face on it.
Lately I’ve been telling you how challenged I am.  I’ve been telling you how frustrated I am.  I’ve been telling you how much stress I’m dealing with.  I’ve been feeling crappy and that’s all you’ve been hearing about.
The other day I was thinking about that.  I don’t want to be that person.  I don’t want to be living in that dark place.  Sure, my kitty is gone and I’m moving and I’m financially stressed, but none of those are reasons to be entirely focussed on the blech.
As I was thinking I realized that part of the reason I have been so weighed down by the difficulties is because I haven’t been taking care of myself, I haven’t been doing things I enjoy.  I haven’t been making time for friends.  I haven’t been focussed on the positive.
So I decided to “just get over it.”
And it worked.  Go figure.
I got together with a friend for a hike and dinner after work.  I skipped dinner with my parents to meet a friend to do a full moon swim.  Unfortunately on that one there were clouds on the horizon, but the swim was great even without the moon.  I arranged to meet another friend for a walk at the Ashley Res (one of my favorite places) and then have dinner.  On Friday I’m going to meet some kitties.  Tomorrow I get to work at Optimum Health Therapeutic Massage, a place I love.  This morning I got my hair cut and this afternoon I met a friend to swim and kvetch.  I opened a bank account in my new town.  I changed my address at a lot of places.
And I thought about how good my life is.
There is a lot of ugly stuff going on in the world.  My heart goes out to the people in Ukraine and in Africa.  My heart goes out to the people in Ferguson.  My heart goes out to the shocking number of cyclists who are killed by people driving cars.  My heart goes out to people who are starving, wherever they may be starving.
None of that makes my life better or easier.  I still have to deal with my challenges.  But those things certainly provide perspective.  They provide a good reminder of why I should focus on the things in my life that are good.
Because there are so many things that are good.  There are enough things that are good that they can outweigh the things that aren’t so good - as long as I let them.
So I’m letting them.  I’m letting the good things outweigh the bad things.  I’m focussing on the bounty.  The challenges will be taken care of.
And I’m feeling better.  Much, much better.
Sometimes you can “just get over it.”

Friday, September 5, 2014

Todays Theme: Shouldn't I be feeling great by now?


I had a rough week, read yesterday’s post - Frustration.  Says it all.  My dad was dealing with my deep desire to eat . . . anything other than what I’ve been eating.  He looked at me toward the end of the week and said, shouldn’t you be feeling great by now?
You’d think, says I.
And it’s what I think too.  I’ve been off sugar for 53 days.  I should be on top of the [expletive deleted] world.  When I was off sugar before I was constantly full of ecstatic joy.  I didn’t know the world could be so beautiful.  I knew it could be beautiful, I just didn’t know it could be so incredibly beautiful.
This time, not so much.  I’m seeing the beauty and I’m moving well through my days and I’m motivated, I decided that since I had to walk home from dropping off my car I would walk around the lake instead of taking the direct route.  But I’m not joyful.
I was talking to a friend today about anti-inflammatory eating and that’s when it occurred to me, I have asked a lot from my body in these last 53 days.  Instead of winding down the sugar over a period of a year and then going off sugar, I went from full on sugar bender to no sugar at all.  My body has had to adjust to a completely different diet, granted a healthy one, still completely different from years and years of eating crap.  Then there is the healing the body from the gigantic weight loss, as I talked about in Plateaus.  I have dropped a lot of weight in 53 days.  A lot.  I have dropped so much weight that I can see the difference.  In the past it has taken me a very long time to see the changes in my body.  Not this time.
So my body is doing all this work, adjusting, losing, healing.  Add to that the stress of losing my sweet Bobby, moving, traveling back and forth to Maine and Connecticut to see my family and work on the yards, it’s no wonder I don’t feel the joy.
There is no quiet time.  There is no settled moment.  There is no peace.
There is also no sugar.  So I can live with the rest until I find the quiet time, the settled moment, the peace.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Todays Theme: Frustration


Today I am 51 days sugar free.
And I am frustrated.
I am following the program that has helped me drop a lot of weight in those 51 days.  If I had to guess I would say possibly up to 30 pounds.  That seems nuts and dangerous, but I haven’t been hungry and I have been eating food that nourishes me and fuels my body.
I’m guessing that number because I’m fitting into clothes that I was wearing last fall when my weight was down to 152 and heading toward the 140s.
But I seem to be stuck.  Those clothes, the pants I’m measuring by at the moment, haven’t changed in how they fit for many days, possibly a couple of weeks.  I have so much going on right now, between mourning for Bobby and packing up my house and working and coming to Maine to hang out with dad getting some work done and heading to Connecticut to do yard work or go to the dentist I don’t really keep track of how long those pants have fit or how long that fit hasn’t changed.
I wrote a short piece on plateaus and the fact that this is to be expected.  I just don’t know how long it should last.  Or if there is anything I should be doing differently.  I also don’t know how my body may be changing at the moment because I can’t see or feel any differences, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
Frustration is manifesting in a deep desire to start adding foods back into my diet.  I’m kind of over what I’ve been eating.  I don’t have loads of imagination around food and I’m not partial to a wide variety of vegetables so things are kind of limited.  I’ve eaten out twice this week, Saturday night with my friend Cara and yesterday lunch with my dad, hamburgers both times.  Saturday night I also had some chicken satay sans peanut sauce.  The vegetables didn’t come with the burger, though it stated at the top of that part of the menu that each item came with vegetables and rice.  The burger only came with fries.  And I couldn’t get a side salad because Jae’s Asian Bistro doesn’t have a side salad.  Which is absurd.  At least I think it’s absurd.  So I asked if I could have vegetables instead of fries.  I think we can do that, says the bartender.  Frankly he made the whole thing my problem and then made me solve it so I could have food that I could eat.  It was an unpleasant service experience.  I ended up with a burger with cheddar, that was sublime, and vegetables on the side.  The vegetables were bok choy that I found bland and I left most of it on the plate, carrots and zuchini that were steamed and still crunchy with a bit of zest and I quite enjoyed, though neither is of particular interest to me generally.  Finally the four decorative slices of cucumber which were my favorite.
Yesterday I ate earlier thvan I have been lately, around 10:15.  I had an omelette with ham and cheese, and three eggs because originally I was going to do scrambled eggs.  In other words it was big and kind of filling.  Then dad and I went over to North Conway to look for a new sofa sleeper for the cabin.  We had a bit of a challenge finding the place and stopped for lunch.  We were looking at the menu and I was deciding between yet another burger and a cob salad.  Neither were speaking to me much - the cob salad would require a few modifications, more than I was interested in dealing with.  I asked dad what he wanted.  “I’d like a hamburger, but a half a pound is too much.”
The light bulb went off and I said, how about we split the burger and I’ll get a side salad, because this place had side salads.  Dad said, oh, then I’ll get the fried green beans.
Perfect.  I got to have the salad I wanted and the meat I needed to have to make that happen.  Turned out the green beans would have been enough for dad and the dog got a good bit of hamburger.
Still, it’s the same stuff I’ve been having.
We had to figure out dinner and I just didn’t care.  Not even a little.
We had scrambled eggs with bacon.  And dad got chives and green onions to put in them.  Which I really need to remember because it totally changes the flavor of the eggs, makes it an entirely different meal.
BUT it’s still all the same stuff.
I’m not where I want to be yet so I’m not ready to start adding food, but I deeply desire some rice.  And some avocado.  And some almonds.  And some peanut butter.  And some fruit.  Not tons of any of those things, but some.
I’m not ready to give up and add them.
So my desires are colliding with my reality.  My chosen reality.  The reality I could give up easily.
But that would likely put an end to the decreasing size of my body.  I’m not quite ready for that.  So I won’t give in to my desires.
It occurs to me as I finish up this thought that I am also dealing with the stress of the loss of my kitty and the stress of moving and some financial stress.  All of which makes it that much harder to stay away from those things that I find to be comforting - a grilled cheese for example.  It makes me want ease around food, not constant thought and aggravation like when I was at Jae’s Asian Bistro.
I won’t give in to the desire for ease and comfort because ease and comfort with food creates dis-ease and discomfort in my body and my life.  And getting away from dis-ease and discomfort was the whole point of spending the $600 for the hypnosis that has gotten me sugar free for 51 days.
I really need some AA chips for increasing time off sugar, a talisman if you will.  I haven’t figured out what to use yet, but I’m working on it.
Oh, it should also be noted that with all this desire for comfort food, sugar - the processed kind, cakes, cookies, candies, etc - is not interesting to me at all.
So that’s something.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Todays Theme: Manifesting


I am watching friends all around me manifesting the most amazing things.  My friend Simone has written and published a book, The Zenbelly Cookbook: An Epicurean’s Guide to Paleo Cooking.  Simone has cooked for me and on that alone I can recommend this book.  You can also check out her website where she shares recipes and ramblings on food.
My friend Ryan has put together a rap CD, Metal Wings: Spiritual Warfare, that he is marketing himself.  He shared a copy with me.  Rap isn’t my personal fave music style, but this album is really good.  He is speaking his truth in a truly beautiful manner.  He’s also a ChiRunning coach.  We met 7+ years ago in a ChiRunning course with Danny Dreyer at Kripalu.  We were both students.  I’m fairly certain he didn’t say more than seven words the entire five days we were there.  Now he comes to Kripalu to teach his own five day ChiRunning and Yoga class.  Brilliant.  You should consider taking it.
My friend Karlee has a coaching business called Every Body Thrive that is, well, thriving.  She’s traveling all over helping some pretty well known folks.  And she’s written a book called The Grocery Store Adventure Guide.
My friend Robyn retired very young and has now gotten her yoga teaching certificate, plays a lot of golf and is a ChiRunning instructor.  Her second act is full of joy and bounty.
A few years ago I read my friend Amy's book - it was in a three ring binder and has been through many incarnations, but now The Virgin of Hopeless Causes is available in e-book and paperback form.  I saw the paperback today and it is beautiful.  She published it herself and it was wonderful when I first read it, I'm looking forward to seeing how it's changed.
Me?  I have managed to manifest a new place to live.  I will be closer to my family, which is great.  I’ll be closer to Optimum Health Therapeutic Massage where I anticipate a burgeoning practice.  It’s bigger than the place I’m in.  The landlords are lovely, just like my current landlords.  
It’s also farther from my primary source (at the moment) of income.  And farther from the beautiful place I currently call home.  And it’s more expensive.  These things are causing me some anxiety.
I have known for some time that I want more than what I have at the moment.  More money is kind of obvious.  I’m getting older and have no savings so more money is highly desirable.
Has anyone ever asked you what you might tell your younger self if you had the chance?  I would tell my younger self to save 10% of her income and take advantage of any 401k matching funds that are available and roll that money over, don’t take it because you think you are broke.
I am also doing my best to manifest more freedom in the form of work as an independent contractor at Optimum Health and private work.  Work where I can dictate my own schedule and I can take Thanksgiving and Christmas off.  Maybe even experience a weekend where a friend calls and says, hey, I have an extra bib for a race on Sunday, want to come?  Yes, yes I do.
It shouldn’t be so hard, I’m good at what I do.  Often I’m great at what I do.  It’s the getting clients part that seems beyond me.  It’s a problem.
My dad said to me once that I’ve done everything I ever set out to do in my life.  I moved to Boston after college and survived there despite no career direction.  I’ve done two Outward Bound courses, both very successfully.  I decided to go to law school and, despite being at the bottom of my class in college after drinking my way through freshman year, I ended up studying in the third ranked environmental law program in the country.  When I started there I said I wanted to graduate with a 3.0, be an editor on law review and run the Environmental Moot Court.  I did all three of those things.
I found my perfect job in environmental policy and got it despite the fact that I was completely unqualified.
When I discovered I hated it?  I moved on to massage.  I’ve been making my living doing massage since 2004.  Not bad in an industry where most people leave after five years and quite a few don’t even make it two.
I asked my dad to read what I have so far because I didn’t know where to go with it.  He said, “It sounds like you are exploring some fundamental issues.  See if you can identify what lies behind the more money.  It’s not the more money you want, it’s what the more money can help you manifest . . . Greater security, less stress, whatever else.”
As usual dad shines a light into the darkness.  Money is not a driver for me.  Never has been particularly.
Being able to say yes to time off work to spend with my family or friends, that motivates me.  Being able to help my nephew go to college, that motivates me.  Being able to do nice things for people - people I love and people I don’t know.
Clearly I need to rethink what I’m manifesting.  I’ve been focussed on the money, but it isn’t the money that I’m looking for.  I’m looking for what the money can facilitate.  So I’m going to end here.  I need to look at what it is I’m really trying to create.  What do I want my life to look like, beyond having more money.  What do I want the money to help me create?
When I have a clearer picture I’ll get back to you.
Meanwhile, in other news, it’s been 47 days since I had sugar.  That makes all the other stuff okay.  Well, okay enough that I know I’ll get through to the other side.