Friday, October 28, 2011

My Own Poem

While at the retreat we did an exercise to write a poem to ourselves. We each had a photograph of ourselves at a young age when our addiction to food started to build in our lives. Mine was a picture of me at 13 years old at the beach. I was wearing tight shorts and a shirt that showed the no longer cute chubby rolls. I was smiling in the picture, but I remember that time at the beach dreaming of a tiny body that guys would admire. Dreaming that I could wear all the cute clothes. But I was also finding that food was comforting. It could cover up the pain of growing up in a house of eggshells. A house of unhappy parents - their marriage was never good from what I can remember. A house where my dad was gone all the time and I felt it was my fault that he chose golf over me. I felt it was my fault that the house wasn't happier. I thought it was my fault my brother didn't really like me much and seemed unhappy. I thought I was supposed to fix it and I never could. I think this is where it all started. Below is the poem that I wrote.


The lumps of the 3 in 13 like my new found lumps and curves
Developed overnight it seems, a new me I must serve
What do I do with this chunky me?
How am I to know who I am supposed to be?
Mom says I'm too big to buy cute clothes
Dad pushes me away because how to deal? Who knows?
I look at my body outside and try to see
Who am I, look at this fat, who can love me?
I need someone who won't laugh, criticize or judge
So I turn to food as my one true love

I am much older now and food is still there
It has become my cross to bear
Food took over and its time to let it go
Little girl 13, you are wonderful you, that you must know
No more suffering, hatred or shame
Take on the challenge, you deserve to win the life game.

The Journey

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice --

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

"Mend my life!"

each voice cried.

But you didn't stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do --

determined to save

the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Binge Trigger - Procrastination

So I am just finishing a night of straight working. I took a quick hour nap about 3 hours ago. I am exhausted and I want to eat everything in site. I sure wish my zen feeling was back right now!!! I did eat more this evening than I have been and I totally didn't follow the eating guidelines. But all in all I think I did OK under the circumstances.

So one of my lessons tonight is that I tend to binge when I am procrastinating. When I really don't want to do something and I am trying to find anything to keep me from having to start. So what I have to do now is really pay attention to that and find a different channel for that energy. Really what I need to do is just suck it up and do what I am putting off. Once I get started I am usually just fine. Its the stress I put on myself ahead of time.

Well, off to shower and to work. I will be leaving the office early today to head home for sleep or I will be binging for another reason.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Back to Work

Phew!!! I made it through my first day back to work after retreat. I was so chilled out and mellow until about noon. Then the reality of the amount of work I needed to do started piling up. ARGH!!! But I didn't turn to food today. I just need to get through the list and I will be fine. The hardest part of the day was moving away from my computer to eat my lunch while being present. Holy Smokes!!! Why is that so incredibly hard? Well, I am telling myself that the first time is the worst and it will get better from here.

I got back to the gym today also and worked out for about an hour. I had to laugh at myself on the elliptical. I was doing my warm up thinking it was really hard and that I must be a bit rusty after taking a week off. So I soldiered through for awhile and then went to raise the intensity level on the machine and realized that I started my workout about 5 levels higher than I normally do. DUH!!! No wonder it felt tough, it was tough!!!

I looked around locally for a mediation center. The only things I could find were local groups that meet up in different places. So not really what I was looking for. I am thinking that if I really want to meditate I need to do it on my own. I didn't think that this would be a practice that I would bring home with me, but I kinda miss the chilled out feeling that comes with it. It beats the stress of work and life.

No worries my dear friends, I am not going to be a hippie. Just looking for a way to de-stress a bit. :o)

Well, off to get some sleep. Lots to do tomorrow.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grocery Shopping

I had an interesting time grocery shopping this weekend. But before I go there, I must tell you that I went and saw my Jenny Craig counsellor yesterday and I ended my time with the program. I hate saying quit - more like taking a new direction/path. I wasn't happy with the program and wasn't losing much weight. Also since the retreat I really felt like I needed a new direction. I am going to continue to wear the body monitor band on my arm which tracks calories, steps, sleep, and exercise levels. Just as a monitor of what my body is doing and how it's performing.

So, since I am no longer buying Jenny food I had to make my first real trip to the grocery store in a few months. I find the grocery store to be so intimidating sometimes. There are so many options to choose from and so many ways that I could steer myself the wrong way. So I went in armed with a simple question - "How do I feel after I eat that food?" It helped me to get past the sweets isle and donut isle. What an accomplishment!!! It really helped out a lot and I walked out of the store feeling empowered and good about my selections.

Now, the next step is to figure out how to eat nutritiously and cook for myself. I find this hard to do as a single person. I just don't take the time to prepare real meals for myself. Instant gratification is what I am looking for after a long day at work, the gym, walking the dog, etc. So this is the next thing I have to figure out for myself in the coming weeks.

Life long journey though. I don't have to have it all figured out today. Practice, practice, practice.

Have a great day all!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Back from Retreat

Well, I am back from retreat and I feel a bit more settled back into life in Virginia. It was really weird the first day being back. Seemed so surreal. I really didn't want to do much or talk to anyone. I just wanted to take some time to unwind and acclimate myself. Now that that is done, I can let you all know about the week I had in Monterrey, CA.

First the location and the weather - awesome and awesome (at least the last 2 days of weather):
Asilomar is an older location that was originally built in 1918 for the YWCA. So some of the buildings are in the process of renovation and others kinda need it. The room I stayed in felt kinda like camp. But the bed was comfy so that is all that really matters to me. We were just a few minutes walk from the beach and it was BEAUTIFUL!!!! I spent a lot of time there reflecting and journaling. It was amazingly gorgeous. We were also right ext to Pebble Beach. No wonder it is so famous for the location!!

Second - the people:
There were about 400 people that went to the retreat. Way more than I thought would be there. But it was great meeting so many people with similar issues. I also had 2 great roommates that really helped make the trip that much better. We spent a lot of time together reflecting on the lessons and teachings of the day and worked through a lot of ways to make them applicable to our daily lives. It was nice having them there. Here is a picture of the 3 of us - me, Lisa and Amy.

Thirdly - what I learned: Where to begin on what I learned? I will be going in to this more in upcoming posts. Seems like so much to write in one post. I do have to say that I really learned a lot and know that I have a long, forever journey ahead of me. There is no end to my self discovery and my process to get to know and love myself. And that really is the biggest lesson - this isn't about weight loss, being thin, eating salads or never eating chocolate again. This is all about learning to love myself and treat myself with kindness. Through that love and kindness will come a new relationship with food where I treat it as my bodies nourishment and not as a source of love and fulfillment. WOW!! Easy to say, not so easy to do. As Geneen says - it all comes with practice, practice, practice. Every time you make the decision to treat yourself kindly and eat when you are hungry, stop when you are satisfied it makes it easier the next time to make the same decision. So over and over and over I have to make the best decisions for me. All in all, it was a great trip and I am very happy that I was able to go. It was the right time in my life to make it happen. I am forever changed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Upcoming Retreat

So I am off to my Geneen Roth retreat this Sunday. I am so excited to finally be going. I planned this back in the spring so it seems so crazy that its less than a week away.

One of things we are supposed to do in preparation for the retreat is think about and reflect on our reasons for attending the retreat. I thought I would reflect and blog - kill 2 birds with one stone. :o)

I think my main reason for attending the seminar to to delve deeper into the message that Geneen Roth teaches in her books and online seminars. I love the idea of using our desire to overeat as a way to understand ourselves better. I really love the books that she has written and I think by going to the retreat I will have some time to be with other people working through their food issues and struggling to apply Geneen's teachings to their lives.

The interaction with the group is really going to be able to help me apply the different principles to my every day life. By being there and being completely immersed I hope that I can absorb the message even more.

I also have to admit that there is an element of being star struck with a person whose work I have read many times and who I have seen on Oprah. So there is a bit of that included in my reasons for going.

Also - the piece of me that wishes for a quick solution is pushing me as well. The part of my voice that says these 5 days will cure all the issues of the last 30+ years. Wouldn't that be great. Oh to dream. But I do know that isn't going to happen so no worries that I am going into this with the completely wrong goal.

My goal is to learn additional ways to apply the principals Geneen outlines in her books in a practical way in my life. And how to incorporate the ideas in a way that allows me to finally have freedom from my food addiction.

More to come when I get back.......