Monday, October 29, 2012

Toxic People

In trying to be more positive, you always hear that it's important to surround yourself with positive people. It's interesting how, lately, I've realized how many negative people are in my life: people that complain, are mean to others (or me), or just seem to spread toxicity in their daily lives.

Sometimes, it is hard to get away from these people. You may work with them or they may even be family. Toxic people may be friends with folks that you consider your own friend. I struggle with this the most. There is a woman in my life who is regularly rude to me and actively dislikes me in a public way. I used to be friendly with her but have since ended my relationship with her. We only interact when absolutely necessary. However, she is friends with some of my friends. This is a huge conflict for me because I don't understand how they can continue to be friendly with her when they want to also be friends with me and know how badly she treats me.

I am not quite sure how to deal with this. One option is obviously to withdraw from the women I consider friends. I have done this to some degree already in self-protection. I could have a conversation with them about my issues; I did try this with the woman I am closest with but don't think it really went anywhere. I feel like by continuing to be friends with her despite her behavior, in some ways they are accepting it, whether or not they talked to her about it and especially because, after one particularly hateful interaction with me, she did not apologize or acknowledge she did anything wrong.

I don't like feeling like a victim and I don't want one person to impact how I interact with others but I want to make the best and healthiest choice for myself and my own self-growth.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Positive Thinking update

So....not totally successful. I definitely had some unkind words (said to myself) for a few folks on a conference call who forgot to mute themselves or were rude to the presenter. I did notice what I said and tried to think about why it was and then gave myself a bit of a break about it. Sometimes, people will annoy you!

I had one self-talk incident: at the mall. There's a surprise. I was trying on clothes and needed a bigger size and was unhappy about the way my belly looked in some shirts. I immediately felt my mental train going down the tracks of "well, when I lose some weight" and feeling kind of panicky. I tried to check in and stop the negative train but it was tough. I tried to acknowledge the thoughts and feelings and simply move forward from them. I'll continue to think about them and ways to combat them.

Interestingly, Day 5 in Rosie's book is still about positive self-talk and self-affirmations. I think I need some more practice!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Positive Thinking

I was recently the lucky winner of Rosie Molinary's  book Beautiful You. It is a daily journaling guide, in some respects. The first few days focus on goal setting and discovering your dreams for yourself. Days 3 and 4 really spoke to me, as they focus on eliminating negative talk, internally and externally. I am guilty of both. I am really hard on myself and also very critical and judgemental of others. I think these typically go hand in hand. If I can't be patient with myself, why would I be patient with anyone else?

As a challenge, I am going to try and go a WHOLE day without saying anything negative about myself or anyone else. I know I may have negative thoughts and I will explore these with curiosity and try to release them. I also like the mindfulness idea of curious observance. When you come from a place of curiosity, it's a lot harder to be judgemental; you're trying to figure it out versus just judging it.

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 15, 2012

When your body speaks up.

Last week, I was trying to be gentle with myself and eat what sounded good. My goal with this was also to try and normalize foods for me, particularly ones I typically make taboo.

Off I went to Target. I bought several kinds of candy and some Little Debbie snack cakes. I discovered some fairly interesting things as a result:

  1. I don't really like Twizzlers or any variation. I actually gave away a whole bag of chocolate Twizzlers and threw away half a bag of Red Vines.
  2. Hershey's chocolate kind of sucks.
  3. Little Debbie snacks really are yummy. And easy to binge on.
On Friday, I ate about 6 snack cakes in the afternoon at work. Afterwards, I felt absolutely horrible. My blood sugar skyrocketed and my heart started pounding. I ate little the rest of the day and felt terrible.
Then, over the weekend, I felt an odd pain in the pit of my stomach. I have a mild hiatal hernia and the pain was in that general area. I got scared because I didn't want to be making it worse. I was having pain at every meal. Saturday night and Sunday, I tried to be very careful about what I ate (following the guidelines for hernia management). By Sunday evening, I felt much better and was pain free.
On Monday, I was pain free through lunch. Then, I discovered the last Little Debbie snack in my desk and, impulsively, ate it.
And had pain again.
It went away after a bit but then in the afternoon, I ate some chocolate I had leftover as well. Stupid on multiple fronts since I don't even like it! I think I was having a bit of "last supper" mentality and also wanted to see if it really was excessive sugar triggering the pains.
It was.

Part of me is scared that I've treated and fed my body so poorly that it has had to exhibit symptoms to get my attention away from my emotional eating. However, part of me is grateful my body is able to do this and let me know what it needs, if I just listen.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Love your Body Day

Please join me, thanks to Rosie Molinary, in celebrating Love Your Body Day on October 17. See the link to sign the pledge!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Emotional eating.

Last night, I overate. I wasn't hungry and knew what I was doing in the moment. I could even identify the emotions related to the eating:

"I am tired"
"I don't have anyone to talk to"
"I feel alone"
"I feel sad and overwhelmed"
"I'm bored"

My mind actually was saying these things, rather loudly. All I could say back was that I didn't know how else to cope except to eat. I felt like it would be stupid to tell someone these feelings and ask for comfort. This is a bad habit of mine, not asking for help or even accepting offered help. The food is an easy go-to but ironically, I felt no better, which is actually a good thing.

I feel like I need to give myself a chance to be uncomfortable, even a little hungry. I eat almost every two hours, at the first sign of hunger. My emotions are a little out of whack (because of a medication I am on that affects hormone levels) and I am really quick to tamp them down. I need to try and "feel my feelings" for a little while and, oh, perhaps talk about them. Out loud.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fear and loathing. (not in Las Vegas)

I have talked about this fear before. I have noticed recently how much I really hold myself back.

I overeat and keep myself at an unnatural weight for my body.
I only wear flats to be more practical.
I minimize my makeup to not draw too much attention.
Even when I try to buy edgier or more exciting clothes, I pair them with very bland pieces to detract from their interest and minimize attention.

That's really it. I am afraid of too much attention and, really, negative judgement. I know I shouldn't care what other people think and should just make myself happy. To be honest, I am really judgemental myself! I think self-loathing breeds negative thought processes towards others. Of course, I am especially critical of others' appearance because I am so hard on myself. I know that "like attracts like" so I am hoping that by making an attempt at being more positive and accepting, I will bring more positivity to myself and let go of some of the negative thought processes and fears that are embedded.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Journal entry: listening ears

Last night, I heard myself say, "Hmm, a cup of herbal tea would be really relaxing." Instead, I had two desserts and some candy and felt more anxious than ever.

IE Fail!

So, I think it's time for a journal entry to pay a little better attention.

It is important to note that we are in the process of doing a very mild version of sleep training with my dear 16 month old. She is fighting us all the way and waking up a lot at night so I am pretty exhausted. I know this can have a great effect on my eating habits so I am going to try my best!

Breakfast 9:30am
Hungry and tired. I succumb and have a cup of coffee at work. On mornings like this, even if coffee makes me a little wiry, I need to be perky at work. I do think I need to experiment with tea and see if it does perk me up enough with the edginess. But, coffee with cream and sugar it is.
To eat, I have a granola bar and a banana. I have recently noticed that my actual meals are fairly small (usually I'd just have a yogurt for breakfast) and then am hungry within two hours. Let's see how a larger breakfast does.
I also have my giant water cup filled to the brim! Ice cold water is one of my favorite things and I know I feel much better when I am well-hydrated.
Update: definitely had some heart palpitations from the coffee. Too much caffeine! In an attempt to listen to my poor, over-caffeinated body, eliminating coffee from the diet, especially when there isn't much food in my system.

Lunch 11:50am
Tried to wait as long as possible but now definitely hungry! Guess that breakfast didn't cut it. I need to go back to more protein in the mornings for sure. Also, the extra caffeine has me a little shaky. For lunch, I have carrots with ranch for dipping, a chicken sandwich with bbq sauce, and sour cream & onion chips. Definitely excited about this lunch and bigger than I normally would have (originally, I only planned for the sandwich).
I ate all of the sandwich and chips and a few carrots but the carrots seemed to hurt my stomach. I have had this problem with raw carrots before. I feel like I eat them because they're "healthy" but they don't typically agree with me. Pass. I feel fairly satisfied although totally craving something sweet to end my meal.
This is a tough thing for me. Sweets don't necessarily sate my physical hunger but feed a habit and emotional need. Without them, I feel a tad of restricting but with them I feel a bit of guilt. I think there is a happy medium in there with enjoying sweets but not using them as a comfort measure.
I decide on a piece of brownie that a coworker brought in. I really savored the first two bites and then, interestingly, felt satisfied. I am kind of eyeing the other chunk but will wrap it up for later!

Feeling a little hungry, so I decide to finish my brownie for a little energy boost before I hit the gym! Yum!

Back from the gym and cooled off after doing some work (no, I wasn't at the gym for 2 hours!). Hungry and debating on a snack, decide on an apple since that sounded good for the last little while. I'm not sure whether it will keep me full but I'll start here! About 30 minutes later, still hungry so decide on a greek berry yogurt with granola and a cup of tea. Hopefully this will hold me until dinner!

Dinner 7pm
Hungry! Spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread. I ate my serving and 2 pieces of bread. It was delicious and I felt satisfied but not stuffed. I had a Pepsi with dinner in hopes my headache would go away but to no avail.

Later in the evening, my mother-in-law made a cake. My husband gave me a bite of his and I found myself totally satisfied with that one bite. It helped that I was busy with the baby but I was a little surprised I didn't feel the need to have a big dessert tonight.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012



Who goes there? It's your triggers talking.

HALT is a phrase that is commonly used in substance abuse recovery. However, I think it applies very well to disordered eating and checking in with ourselves. Here's what it means:

H: Hungry. Are you legitimately hungry? This is a good first check in because, if you're not, think about what else is going on.

A: Angry. Are you upset or emotional about something? Are you at risk of emotional eating? What do you need right now?

L: Lonely. Very similar to Angry I think. Loneliness is a really bad trigger for me to comfort eat.

T: Tired. I know when I am tired, I eat more unconsciously, I think in an attempt to perk myself up. I think another "T" can be Thirsty. Being well-hydrated definitely can help curb the munchies and make me feel better.

I think HALT applies well to Intuitive Eating and I plan to utilize it much more often to check in with my body to make sure I'm meeting its real needs.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Food Observations

Lately, I have been making mental notes about how certain foods affect my mood and physical state. It's funny because at first, it seemed to develop without my even being aware I was doing it. Here are a few examples:

Coffee: makes me feel edgy and agitated. Definitely too much caffeine!
Tea: just enough caffeine. If i had a little milk and sugar, it feels indulgent.
Ice cream: seems to trigger further sweet cravings. When I have it after dinner, I then end up having more than one sweet snack. It also isn't filling.
Baked beans: love the taste of them but always end up with stomach discomfort.

The interesting thing is that, while I am acknowledging the negative impact of some things I am consuming, that isn't stopping me from doing so. I think, really, I'm just not ready. I think intuitive eating is a process, and not a quick one. I am just now starting to be more observant and objective. I don't want to rush things and trigger dieting behavior (again) but allow myself to explore things thoroughly and patiently.