Sunday, 9 December 2012

Commitment, with a twist.



I have to admit, putting everything out here for you all to read, helps keep me accountable, and accountability pisses me off.
In my addiction, I have isolated myself for many years, protecting my behaviors and coddling them to keep me safe.. Safe from judgements, opinions and bullying.
Convincing myself that no one understands, and that I am and will forever be alone in my thoughts.  To this day, it feels easier to give in, even after working my ass off since April of 2011 to get myself where I am today.  That inner struggle that I deal with every single day.  To be honest, I'm not sure which struggle is worse - the addiction or the eating disorder.  For me, they're separate.  I need to deal with them separately to get my head around getting healthy and understanding the food issues I have been dealing with since a very young age.  It developed in stages, starting with bulimia as a young child and became a long path of food issues for a number of reasons.  Stuffing emotions and my inability to deal with them, fears, being bullied, self-abuse, low self-esteem, a way of dealing with hurtful people in my life, depression - some of the things I turned to food for.

Today, I sit here thinking about this journey I have been on, and the amazing accomplishments that come with it.  When I started school in September, I fell off the wagon in terms of my motivation and still am not back on track.  I could sit here and list all of the reasons why I feel I have fallen off, and truth be told, they would only be the excuses I keep trying to convince myself of as well.  So, what do I need to do to get myself back on that path of positive self ? The girl who strived to be her healthiest and take the best care of her? Motivate myself, of course.  Organization is something that works for me, developing a program, rules, a routine.

New Years is on it's way and people tend to make resolutions -- I'll admit, I'm not a "resolutioner" in the least, but I am fond of following through with something I am passionate about. And today, I am really passionate about being good to myself.  As a human being, I have so much to offer people in terms of helping them come to terms with eating disorders, food addiction, low self-esteem or their weight loss journey.  I 'want' to help others, in fact, because for all of my life, I was that isolated girl, scared to death and consistently self-abusing.  As a mother, I want to show my children that while their mother was in an incredibly difficult mindset for many years, that I can be strong and help myself and be present for them more than I ever have been.. I want to be an example for them and for them to be proud of me as I am of them.  As a friend, I want to be someone my friends can turn to in need, and not ever isolate myself from the beauty of their friendships.  As a nursing student, I think in terms of the career that I am about to begin and want to live by example of the things I will be encouraging of my patients.

So, here is my list - the twist being that these are *not* New Years resolutions, but a commitment to be all of the things for everyone I just mentioned, and then mostly to myself.  That I am worthy, strong and ready.  And I am not waiting until January 1st - this starts right now, this very moment as I am typing these words..This list will list my tools, what is expected of me daily.. It will list the things I want to accomplish and work for.  It will list some things I can do to work on my fears and behaviors, steps forward.. All of these are steps forward and ways to ensure I am taking the very best care of me, not only for myself but those I love.

Thank you all, for being with me on days I need accountability.. For walking this journey with me, sharing with me (even when done privately) and helping me feel my worth as I walk this very fragile path.  Putting this all out here for you all isn't always easy, but always very needed.  You are all a very big part of my recovery, my journey & my life, and are appreciated.

My list:

1/ My eating plan - It was developed to keep me abstinent from my binge foods, and avoid the foods that make me crave the no-no foods more.  I am passionate, also, about being aware of the foods that I am putting in my body.  Avoiding processed foods, high-fat foods and eating a balanced organic diet of healthy foods.  No fad diets and always measuring/portioning via the serving sizes on the Food Guide.  The measuring and portioning of course helps keep me to healthy sized servings, but also ensures I don't overeat my portions which cause me to obsess, display behaviors and want to purge (or sometimes binge more).

2/ Logged Information - I will once again start logging my meals.  Doing this is not for the sake of obsessing the calorie intake, but ensures I am getting the minimum calorie intake so I am not feeling deprived or hungry at the end of the day.  I will eat my meals and snacks every day, ensuring I carry the snacks with me if I will be out so I do not come home feeling hungry and overwhelmed.  I will also pre-plan my meals and snacks the night before, as well as have them prepared, so that I stick to the food plan as I should be.  I will be aware of the few *healthy* carbs I am allowed and veer away from the rest, and I will work a healthy dairy plan in as well.  I will also find new recipes, healthy them up and re-establish my *healthy* relationship with food, my love for cooking & trying new foods and dishes that are safe for me.

3/ I will keep my food scale, measuring cups and measuring spoons in plain view on my kitchen counter, and use them faithfully to measure out each snack and meal.  I will also keep a paper on my refrigerator to jot down the measurements and food as I am preparing them, so that when I sit down to record them I will not have to struggle with remembering them exactly.  I will log onto SparkPeople as soon as I finish this blog and set everything up properly so I can log on daily and track everything, using their resources.. (Phenomenal site by the way, and free to use!)

4/ Water, water, & more water.  I will faithfully drink my water.  I don't even have to explain the benefits of water, and how healthy it is.

5/ Recovery - Reading my literature, attending meetings, consistent contact with my sponsor & working on my program faithfully.  I procrastinate the fourth step every single time, and bail because it's the hard stuff.  Dealing with my emotions is not something I am comfortable with, but I know this is necessary.. I need to take small steps and make this happen, and I need to free myself from holding myself back.  Dealing with the hurt of my past is something I must do.  I will start making the effort, and I will reach out. I can't do this alone.

6/ I love the people in my life very much, but there are some people who simply are *not* healthy for me to interact with in terms of negativity.. I can love people from afar, I can distance those who do not have my best intentions at heart and I can recognize that this 'is' okay for me to do.  It's necessary, even.  I am worthy of good relationships, encouragement and support and will always put that foot forward myself for those in my life.  Learning to draw a line and not take on people's issues is something I continue to work on today.. Having a healthier approach and self-protection is something important to me, and I love that I am willing to protect myself from the things and people who aren't good for me.  I won't enable, nor will I react.  I simply let go and move forward, I won't take their negativity on and will continue to pray that life treats them kind and for their health, we all deserve that.

7/ Spirituality - It's a very personal journey for me, something I don't share much yet and that's because it's something I need to explore on my own.. Embracing Buddhism as my spiritual path has been the most emotional journey for me this passed year, and the infectious love and peace I feel is something so special.  And now it's time to walk this recovery with Buddha, everything I need is all within, and I am ready.  Meditations, my literature, my time with nature, my acceptance, my inner growth...It's so delicate and beautiful, all of it.

8/ Acceptance - that with all of this comes many more things.. I have been working on my financial path, a new career, an engagement with future wedding plans *smiles* ... Re-establishing myself in a world I hid from for so long.  Acceptance that with recovery comes many more things, and it feels overwhelming and at times hard to swallow.. My fears set in and the best thing I can do for myself is put myself out there and push harder, despite how scared I feel.  Taking chances, pushing boundaries, stepping out of that comfort zone and dealing with my fears are definitely things i will work on more this year.

9/ Hobbies - I have so many hobbies that I've missed for so long.. When I isolated myself for years, I also isolated from the things I loved doing.. My passion for reading is strong, and I have been revisiting the second hand book stores, rebuilding my collection.. Love that smell of old books, I could get lost in there for days.  Also, my time with nature this summer has been a wonderful thing.. Splashing around in the water, hiking trails and discovering beautiful places... There are so many things I want to get back to - cooking, baking, sewing, knitting, gardening.. My grandmother taught me to knit as a young girl, I loved it.. There are many things I *want* to do also... On my list, boxing, martial arts, sign language, photography, kayaking, whale watching and so, so much more.  So lots to work on, I've a very long list of to-do's which I may share here one day soon.

10/ Paying it forward - Random acts of kindness - Volunteering - It makes me feel good, smile from deep within.  I've been that person who needed help, was struggling and couldn't find my way.  It feels important to me, to pay that forward.  It also feels important to share this journey and put myself out there for the sake of helping others. I want to  make a difference in this world, and I want to get my story out there.. I want to get myself back on track, and I want to inspire and be inspired.. This is a lifetime journey for me, and I am grateful for the tools, the support and love as well as the ability to always find ways to work on self.

11/ Self-acceptance - This one I struggle with, a lot.  But I will lay it down bluntly.  No self-abuse.  No self-bullying.  Learning to love the skin I am in, embracing my body.. My scars, my age lines and my loose skin all tell a story..Working always on my self-esteem, trying not to be so hard on myself and most of all self-love...I am worthy, I am good and I am loveable.

12/ Exercise. (left the best for last) - I need to push my boundaries.. I have a gym membership.  I love hiking, I love outdoor adventures.. I have home equipment for days the weather is bad or the days are super busy.. I must work on my stomache and arms especially, toning is very necessary for the loose skin on my arms..I am very self-conscious about it.. I have vitamins and lotion, and a great workout plan with weights and toning exercises that I need to be consistent with. I will also change up my exercise routine often, so not to get bored of it.  Also, running is my passion.. I want to work my way back to running again.

I feel really good about posting this.
This acts as a contract for me - my set rules..
And of course, the accountability by posting this.
Now I am heading to SparkPeople and I am ready to re-spark this self-journey in *all* ways - & be happier & healthier in my own skin.
While I am *not* setting a New Years Resolution - i *am* committing to ME and making the best of my days.. Embracing friendships, taking my life back & loving it all in the process & living a long life full of love & happiness with KC, (who has been the ultimate in support, love & encouragement) as well as friends & family.

Love to you all!
Much peace,
~ sylvie