zoethe: (Default)
One of the things I haven't written about much here is my current efforts to get back into shape. Part of that is embarrassment: I did so well a few years back, then lost the battle, the war, and additional territory. No one likes to talk about their failures. But it's all part of me, and part of living graciously is being healthy and capable. So I guess I'm going to start talking about it.

One of the most important aspects to me about all this is that I don't believe in dieting and denial. It's the perfect setup for failure. I believe in moderation, intentional eating, and movement.

The other night, I sat in the movie theater surrounded by the delicious smell of popcorn, but didn't want any. A friend brought over home-baked cookies, and I ate only one. We bought my favorite Girl Scout cookies, and they are still in the snack drawer, leaving me untempted.

If I think about these things, the question in my head is, "Does eating this taste better than the progress I'm making feels?" And most of the time, the answer is, no.

When the answer is yes, I do indulge myself. I didn't deprive myself of one of my friend's delicious cookies. Tonight I will be attending a party where the hostess is an amazing cook, and I will definitely be eating some less-than-healthy snacks and having a couple drinks. But I am confident that I will be retaining my center and will not just go crazy at the snack table.

I am in a good place, mentally, about my progress. But I can remember that less than a year ago, the answer to the question of "Is eating this more important than my health?" Was "YES! Yes is is! I don't care about my size, I don't care how I look, all I care about is the smooth, chocolatey taste of this entire can of frosting going down my throat." That was the person I was a year ago. I can remember it vividly.

I don't understand her at all. I can't comprehend why she felt that way. I am baffled by her complete unwillingness to take a walk around the block, let alone actually work out.

But here's the thing that I have to remember: she is still inside me. She's quiet right now, but there will come a day when something triggers her to come roaring to the surface. I've made the smug assumption in the past that she was completely tamed, completely eradicated, only to wake up and find that she had taken over and a year's worth of hard work had been erased and she was completely in control.

I can't beat her by hating her. She is part of me, and self-hatred is self-defeating. I have to be vigilant for her reappearance, but when she does? I need to look at her honestly, ask her why she is here. What is it that she fears? What is is that she needs? What does she want? I have to take the time to love and understand her, and give her the things that she needs that aren't food. She is empty and aching, and food is her methadone for what she honestly needs.

She started to surface last night. I'm home alone for the weekend, I'm still not feeling very well, even though I am improving daily, and I was suddenly filled with overwhelming sadness, loneliness, and a sense of helplessness. Part of me said, "eat those leftovers you're saving for lunch tomorrow, and break open a bottle of wine; it will make you feel better."

I have to say, it was a real temptation. But I took a deep breath, centered myself, and asked, what is it that I really need? The answer was that I had been up too late the night before, gotten up too early in the morning, and was exhausted beyond the usual measure because I'm still getting over being sick. What I really needed was not to stuff my face and watch maudlin movies. What I needed was sleep. And so instead of inhaling the contents of the refrigerator in an act of defiant self-hatred, I went to sleep.

She is quieter today. Perhaps she will eventually learn that food is not the answer to pain. But she can't learn it if I treat her with disdain. She's part of me, and *all* of me deserves to be loved. Love isn't always giving yourself what you want; it's taking the time to really understand what you need.
zoethe: (Default)
The 5-year-old who lives in my head: WAAAAH! You didn't feed me ALL DAY!!! I'm starving!!

Me: I'm sorry. This day didn't go anything like it was supposed to. Let's make dinner now.

5yo: WAAAAH!!!! I'm too hungry for cooking!! Let's eat the leftover Girl Scout cookies!

Me: You know that isn't going to happen. Let's see what we have in the fridge.

5yo:There's heavy cream, and butter, and a great Amish raw milk cheese. Let's make cheese sauce!

Me: And put it over...what?

5yo: What do you mean?

Me: It's sauce. It has to go over something.

5yo: I'm not getting you.

Me: Are you suggesting that we just eat cheese sauce all by itself out of the pot?!

5yo:Oh my god, if you're gonna be that way about it, just make it thinner and call it soup!

Me: ...

5yo: Oh, fine! What's your idea?

Me: We have all these wonderful greens that we got at the market the other day....

5yo: Salad?! You can't be serious! I'm hungry!!!

Me: Well, I can saute up some onions and red bell peppers and mushrooms.

5yo: MEAT!!!

Me: Okay, and some grilled steak sliced thin. Oh, and I have some avocado.

5yo: A WHOLE red pepper! A WHOLE avocado!!

Me: That's a lot of--

5yo: Whole! Whole whole WHOLE!!!!

And that is why I am currently eating a salad the size of my head. It's actually very tasty, and the 5-year-old is quieting down.

And it's certainly healthier than a pot of cheese sauce.
zoethe: (Default)
For over a quarter century I have been drinking Lipton Sugar Free Instant Iced Tea, a concoction of chemical sweetness and caffeination that has kept me going through raising kids, working, divorce and remarriage, moving across country, and more.

It's vile stuff, really. But I am addicted.

This food product does not fit into my current determination to eliminate chemicals from my life. I have stopped eating prepackaged foods, have stopped buying foods produced in artificially low-fat versions, and am committed to cooking real food from scratch. As part of my determination to eat clean, I vowed that, once these final jars of the tea were gone, I would stop drinking it. In preparation, I had limited myself to only one large glass of it a day, rather than throughout the day. I could see the end coming, so I was getting ready.

Yesterday I made what I thought was my next-to-last glass of this instant iced tea. Today, I went into the kitchen to ceremoniously make the final glass. A glass to savor, to appreciate. A glass to say goodbye.

As it turned out, there was only a little dusting of the tea in the bottom of the jar. I'm not sure how I didn't notice it yesterday, but there was only enough for one weak ounce of tea.

I was, shall we say, dismayed. I had a plan for this. And that plan was smacked down.

Oh, also? It's That Time Of Month. It was kind of a perfect storm of "NOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

So here I am. I've made a cup of hot tea to stave off caffeine withdrawal, and I have a big glass of water. I'm pleased to be getting this last daily dose of artificially manufactured food out of my life. I expect that in a matter of a few days I won't miss it anymore.

But that is not this day.
zoethe: (sick)
I've said before that people who've been in a house for over five years should be required to pack as if they are moving in order to get rid of the stuff they don't really want. Well, I've pretty much been forced into doing precisely that by this repainting/new flooring task.

But the other thing that comes with a thorough moving-about of everything we own is the kicking up of a lot of dust. There are tumbleweeds of the stuff behind bookcases, desks and other places to small for Opposite Cat to reach. And on top of the books we're carrying from room to room or downstairs.

On top of that, the painter is sanding all the walls, kicking up a ton of paint dust. Everything is coated with a fine, white powder.

Next week when we do the floors, it's just going to be that much worse.

As a result, my allergies are going nutz. In spite of all the allergy medications, I'm in continual battle with my itching eyes and stuffy nose. And my body is seeking refuge in the one place it can: sleep.

So despite eight solid hours of sleep last night, right now I am typing with my eyes closed, willing myself to stay awake and mostly failing at it.

New client at 1pm. A chance to get out of the house. It will be most welcome.
zoethe: (Goddess Claudia)
Giving up beef and pork has not made me feel appreciably different, unlike other changes. I need to get into the doc's office for a cholesterol test to see if it's had any effect on my system.

Drinking more milk had the almost-immediate effect of curing me from the chronic colds I seemed to always be suffering. I've been germ-sick twice since I started drinking more milk, as opposed to the continually sick I was the year before

Since we started the fruit smoothie routine, I can report that my allergies have been massively reduced: at this time of year I would usually be taking two prescription drugs and supplementing them with OTC antihistamines at least 4x a day, and instead I'm taking one prescription drug, and not even every day. This is a HUGE improvement. Also, my hacking cough and chronic sore throat (both probably the result of post-nasal drip) have pretty much disappeared.

So, what's next? For most of you this is probably a no-brainer, but I'm giving up artificial sweetners for a month. This is probably the biggest hardship so far, because I rely on Lipton Instant Peach-Flavored Iced Tea for my caffeine delivery. I got up this morning, the first of the month and the day I'd told Ferrett I was starting this project, and for a moment I considered pretending that I'd forgotten all about it. But I was good: I brewed up a large cup of Good Earth Sweet and Spicy Original, added some honey, and then poured it over ice.

It's...okay. It's definitely more of a sipping drink than a chugging drink, so I'm forcing myself to get some of it down my gullet so that I don't get a caffeine withdrawal headache. I can tell, though, that this is going to be tough. If I don't see a definite change in my health during this month, I will not be motivated to continue on this part of the regimen. But I'm willing to give it a month because of the major changes in health brought on by the other changes. I can do this for a month. I hope.

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September 2012

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