Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mile high reflections

I'm back from a weekend trip to Denver to meet up with some girlfriends.  A lot of mental preparation went into the trip as I looked at food, self care, mental state, etc.  And that's OK with me.  I knew that every single girl I was meeting there had the very best support and love for me and that's a pretty awesome trip treatment or not!!  I had an amazing time and here are a couple of my observations and reflections...

1.  Food is still challenging while on vacation.  Even if your friends know it's going to be a challenge.  They were AMAZING about checking in with me in a non-pushy or weird way to make sure I had the support I had asked for before we all travelled.  And I felt good about it.  There were moments of "Geez Louise I've eaten a LOT today" but not in a binging sort of way - in a "we're on vacation and will eat when we want to" sort of way.  I did awesome with my goal to "increase" things I deem as lacking in my previous lifestyle.  LOADS of water, walking and even some fruit/veggie intake.  All in all, great.

2.  It's amazing what some groundedness and confidence and calm can do for getting together with friends.  It all felt so natural.  I could be who *I* am and not feel like I had to be "on" or constantly on edge that they may not like me or I may say something stupid or any of the other 100000000 things that would have been racing around my brain a year ago.  I was able to just be present and respond and react with no fear of judgement and really, no fear at all.

3.  Photos.  OK.  So, I need to do some digging through other blogs of mine but I KNOW I have posted on this before.  The power of photos to make you instantly feel like shit about yourself.  Or, more rarely, amazing about yourself.  I am a person who used to love being in front of the camera, but as ED closed in on my entire being, that got harder and harder.  There were a LOT of pirctures taken this weekend - most in a candid way or in a being silly way.  I never shirked from the photos.  In fact, I jumped in and went with my impulse to join the fun rather than to stay hidden away for fear of being judged on my appearance - both by myself and the people who may see the photos.  As the first photos started to be uploaded by friends onto Facebook, something amazing and alarming started to happen.  I didn't freak out when unflattering photos of myself were posted. 

WHAT?

I know.  Like a miracle.

I did note that I wasn't totally happy with how I looked in a bunch of the pictures, but it was noted and released.  I mean, I can't do anything about that NOW, right?  And instead of spiralling into a pit of shame, I decided to just embrace it.  A photo is just a specific moment and angle caught on film.  It's not how people see me while we're LIVING that moment and that has bee able to rise to the top for me.  Made so much easier by being able to see how beautiful and happy and relaxed I look in neighboring pictures to the ones I don't totally love.  Same person.  Same day.  And I'm happy about some pics and not thrilled about others.  And that's OK because I know I'm the same person in all of those pictures.  And I know I was having an amazing time in all of those pictures. 

And THAT is what a picture is all about.  A visual reminder of the emotions of the event.  Not a catalogue of body hatred. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

I have of late, but wherefore I know not lost all my.....

Motivation.  *insert sad face here*

Sigh.

I'm just going to keep reminding myself that this is part of the dance - as I referenced in an earlier post.  I'm not totally sure where or when or what happened.  But I got off track.  And I can't seem to find my way back ON track.  And then I have to wonder in my attempt to combat the inner perfectionist- IS there a track?? 

There seems to be some nebulous "right way" to be doing this.  Or "right way" to need to be feeling about this.  Lodged in my brain. 

So, when I'm not doing it that way - you know, the way I wouldn't even be able to clearly define ANYWAY - I feel like I'm not doing enough.

Here are the things that are falling under "not doing it right".  Let's see if me typing them out adds clarity to the mix.

I can't seem to get a food plan in order.  It's been weeks since I've food planned or charted in a food journal.  Three weeks I believe - since I succumbed to the world of allergy and school being out for the summer.  When I think of the foods in my little file of planning foods, I feel BLAH and don't want to eat a single one of them.

Because I have no food plan, I haven't been to the grocery either.  Which means there is limited food choices in my house.  Which means I give up and eat nothing because I have no plan nor anything that seems "appealing" in the heat of the moment.  Luckily, for now, this isn't leading to bingeing, but it will.  I know it will.  So I know it needs to stop.

I can't seem to get into the swing of "summer" just yet.  Some of it has to do with it not feeling like summer at ALL around here.  Grey, rain, cold.  Gross.  Some of it is because I'm overscheduled.  It's tricky shuffling the kid from place to place, especially in these next two weeks because of swimming lessons.  After that it MAY ease up.  Adding appointments into the mix is just an extra challenge, but I think that's resolved.  And I'm grateful to my family for stepping up and taking on watching the kid extra while I get those done.

My house is a disaster.  Clutter abounds.  And the more cluttered my physical space is, the more cluttered my brain is.  Total truth there.  I can't think straight when everything's everywhere and it's the fight of the "all or nothing" brain - it shuts me down.  The chore list that was so awesome and amazing has fallen by the wayside.  Eating at the table together has fallen by the wayside.  I hide in the office and sit in denial of the mess.

Finances stress me out.  Again, all or nothing taks over and I try to live in denial of the mounting bills.  It's hard to get proactive when you're overwhelmed by owing everyone in the world money.

Aside from that, I'm trying sooooo hard to practice gratitude.  I am so lucky and blessed to have the support I do in this journey.  There are so many people in harder fights.  Not that I'm trying to minimize my own fight, but I'm trying to keep perspective and get motivation from those I've seen go up against bigger challenges and totally kick that challenge's ass. 

Getting used to this middle world of the dance isn't proving to be the easiest place.  But I try to remind myself, the harder the place I'm in, the more I should be attentive to what's happening.  Obviously there's work to be done here.  I just have to find it.

And so the dance continues....

Monday, June 13, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wax on, wax off. Or something like that.

I was totally warned by my therapist that this recovery process is not linear.  More like a dance that takes you all across the floor in whirling patterns.

Beautiful, right?  Have I mentioned that I have OCD?  LOL!

Luckily, I'm also a dancer.  Or was.  Or still am.  That's one of the definitions of self that I'm still hammering out.  ANYWAY...I get it.  The metaphor, that is.

And in weeks like this, it really helps to keep reminding myself of that visual.

Dance isn't always pretty and smooth and graceful.  Sometimes it's in your face, raw, methodical, gritty, gut-wrenching, sweaty, off beat, whirling dervish.  Sometimes it inhabits your body in an uncomfortable way and you need to work and work and work to make it feel comfortable in your skin.  Sometimes it jumps in right away, takes control and leaves you breathless with that feeling of success and inspiration.

What dance always is - or at least should be - is passionate and personal.  Much like this journey I'm on.  I need to keep reminding myself that, like dance, this journey takes determination, practice and commitment.  Sometimes I'll fall trying to get it just right.  Sometimes I'll soar on the first try.  But neither is more important that each other until the whole dance is learned and complete.

At that point in my dance, my highest wish is to be grace-FULL.  And the rest can fall into the dance where it may.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Madness leads to .....

I'm not sure I can adequately explain what madness this week has been. 

A week ago, I felt the familiar tickle in my throat of a massive allergy attack.  And while I know what to expect - it happens every 18 months or so - I have no idea how to head it off. 

The next day, I had to zip home from work to wait for the Mendard's delivery guy.  Luckily, they didn't take forever.  Note that.  I check the delivery - we're missing 20 bags of rock.  A whole order sheet.  I call, they say it will come Saturday so that's fine.

Friday, the kiddo has to go to get her asthma meds checked and increased, we go shopping for food and then out to lunch to a hibachi place.  Home to prep for the arrival of the in laws.  I get a phone call from the head of the local community theatre asking me to take a part in an upcoming show without even auditioning.  WHAT??!  Madness.  I say yes, run down to grab the script and get back to put supper together.  Work on the fence begins.  By this point, I have lost my voice.  Super.

Saturday, giant fence work day.  My parents, in laws and a nephew are here bright and early to work and I still have zero voice and now am hacking my lungs out.  But I feel FINE aside from that.  Peace reigns as the fence building progresses.  I'm amazingly calm in the face of a whole mess of situation going not as I planned.  Practicing flexibility.  Whew.  Work ends and we're STILL waiting for the missing rocks from days earlier.  I make several calls - sotto voce - and eventually they show up at 9:30 pm.  Madness.

Sunday, still no voice.  Work is completed and the fence looks awesome.  ILs leave, my parents return to see the finished product and eat some more of the lingering food.  The dogs rejoice in their new play area.  All is well.

Monday.  I get no sleep the night before due to coughing and feel like crap.  Call in sick to work which never happens, but I literally can't talk, so it's just not going to happen.  I start to pick up the script to start on my lines for the new show - I get an email.  Show is postponed indefinately due to illness.  Maybe next summer.  Actually, it's a relief, but I'm proud that I went with the flow with minimal panic.

Tuesday, still miserable.  Call in sick to work and go to Urgent Care to get the "good" cough medicine.  Which I take and sleep the day away.  Then I take more and sleep all night.

Which brings us to today.  One week later.   Madness.

Food has been all over the place.  I feel fat and gross and sore and icky.  I need to get back on plan and on the path.  This is ridiculous.  I mean, it's good.  I haven't freaked out or anything, but my body's freaking out and my mind wants to follow.  So, I need to get busy stopping my mind and redirecting it to a positive proactive and healthy place so my body can follow.