Thursday, 21 March 2013

Food Plan & Abstinence: Truth.



Tuesday was a difficult food day.
Actually, let's be honest.  Food has been difficult since September of 2012.

I have come to terms with a few things since diving back into my recovery work.  
1 - I need to be more specific with my abstinence list and food plan.
2 - I have relapsed in terms of portion sizes and not acknowledging some problem foods and overdoing it with them.
3 - Sugar is a no-no, however carbs are a definite problem of mine.

It's been extremely important for me that I follow the Canada Food Guide as a means of eating healthy.  Along with that, using my tools and working daily in recovery.  If I am not actively working on my program daily, then I am setting myself up for hard days.  Being honest with myself today, regardless of how much I work on my program, I feel as though I am pushing myself down further and further rather than climbing up and stepping forward.

My hard truth: 
When I eat carbs, I crave them more.  My mind starts misbehaving.  My behaviours surface and I find myself pocketing crackers or sneaking slices of bread or spooning extra portions of pasta.  In the morning I usually start with a bowl of cereal as my first meal of the day carb.  I fill that small bowl to the very top with that cereal and call it one cup.  Is it truly? No. It wouldn't be quite 2 cups, but it's definitely more.  I eat my egg and a piece of fruit, and it's a perfectly balanced breakfast for me.  However, after consuming that breakfast I then find myself not even an hour later shuffling through cupboards or thinking of toasting bread.  Then, at morning snack I make a perfectly balanced snack of protein and fruit, but am sneaking carbs by again grabbing a handful of crackers or something because I can't stand "just" having fruit and protein.  Then, by lunch time, I am ready to eat but I am so overwhelmed by wanting to toast up 4-6 slices of bread with jam (NOT because I am hungry for all of that mind you), i just crave the carbs in abnormal amounts.

How does that make me feel? 
When I consume a normal helping of carbs, it triggers something in my mind to want more.  Not from hunger, but what feels like sheer greed.  I am substituting the carbs for the craving of sugar and foods I am abstinent from, and so carbs has become a really big problem for me.  I have gained over 30 lbs back since September because of my inability to control myself and inability to be honest with myself.  So now I am laying it all out, making myself accountable and reworking this food plan and abstinence list because I have to, and because I need this.  When I have consumed an abnormal amount of carbs, it leaves me feeling lethargic, sluggish, non-energetic and I can't even begin to express what my mental state goes through.  I get so hard on myself and my self-bully comes alive JUST as it does with overdosing on sugar. So in being honest with myself, all of these things tell me I need to back off of the carbs.

What is important to do? (in my case)
1 - I need to maintain a calorie count of 1200-1400 calories a day.
2 - With eliminating carbs, I am going to allow increased protein.
3 - I usually eat balanced with a carb/protein/fruit & vegetable for each meal, and a snack of protein & fruit/vegetable.
4 - Vegetables (not fruit) are considered a free food for me (unless it's a vegetable high in carbs)
5 - I will allow vegetables high in carbs, but in lower amounts. (no filling the plate half full with them)
6 - High carb vegetables (carrots, beets, peas, winter squashes(such as acorn and butternut), water chestnuts, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, plantains)
7 - There are three types of carbs that I do not crave more of, or crave other carbs from, as of yet anyway. Steel cut oatmeal, brown basmati rice & quinoa.
8 - If I feel it absolutely necessary to consume carbs, they are safe foods for me.

So yesterday was my first day, no carbs. I fared really well.  The cravings are still there and I have some food anger to work through, however, NOT putting the carbs in my mouth has given me my first truly successful day.  I used my tools, I have exercised and I am feeling far more positive mindwise than I have been since September of last year.

Honesty isn't easy.  But I feel like I am on the right path, after all;
Step One: We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Victim.



Victim.
I have a long history with that word. I choose to call it history because the word victim is a part of my life that I no longer am identifying with. This blog today is a step in closing the chapter of my life I have been needing to close for .. well, a lifetime. There are so many aspects of the word victim that I am choosing to address today, and I am not aiming this at any people in particular because it is not about pointing fingers or placing blame. This is about my own self-worth, my uphill climb and finding that magical place within that I can base my every moment of every day appreciating the amazing blessings I have around me without bogging myself down with the unnecessary bullshit. (pardon my language). This blog is about my embracing the past and then rounding it all up into a big messy bundle and throwing it far behind me where I am no longer dwelling but instead taking big, fantabulus steps towards the rest of my amazing life. Why? Because I am choosing to make it that.

I am sure there are thousands of ways that people can identify with the word victim. These are the ways I have dealt with the word victim through my forty years, and this is the beginning of my own movement of putting an end to it all and claiming my life and true, inner happiness back. As many of you know, I have been on a journey since April 2011, although my journey truly started a day in 2008 after a self-esteem course which would lead me to making some small, positive decisions to better my own life. I believe that nothing happens without a lot of hard work and self-discipline, and many, many tears. My journey is far from over, in fact in my eyes it is only just the beginning. I am learning so much about myself; my quirks, my personality, things I want to try, my goals, beliefs and much, much more. But one thing I am learning more about myself today is that I have boundaries, I have expectations and standards of people around me and I have a lot more self-worth since back in 2008. It's been a slow uphill climb of accomplishments and small steps that have led me to blossom into this girl who not only shows her feelings and chooses her battles, but as the girl who is putting herself out there and taking her own life back.

So today, the word victim has been running through my head as something that has felt consistent through my lifetime. So there are some things I need to address, to no one specific (the people that have had a part in any of what I am about to say know their part and it's their own things to deal with, just as my own are to me). These things are coming to life today merely for my own parting ceremony; a celebration of letting go and shedding another piece of me that's been holding me back for so long. Closing unnecessary chapters in my life helps me grow and to revive the pieces within me I have buried within. These things have held me back, isolate me and eventually broke me down to the point i no longer believed in my own self.

Everyone deserves the right to believe in themselves.
Everyone deserves the chance to shine.

So here it goes, all or nothing - but these are my truths.

1/ Bullying - This one is first because I have dealt with bullying in Junior High School up until recently in many different forms. Many people deal with bullying, and it has to end.. Whether it is school mate, co-worker, family member, peer pressure from friends, a random stranger in passing - it is hard to see passed the ridicule, the hurt and the inner sadness or anger to take it for what it really is. I, personally, have spent a lifetime trying to fight for the attention of people who didn't have my well-being at heart. Self-esteem gets damaged and we should all be celebrating our unique, diverse and amazing selves because we all have purpose.. I am taking a stand today, to not only for myself but everyone who deals with bullying on any level. Be the shoulder that someone needs, be the friend when no one else is, and appreciate the unique traits in the people around you as well as your own.. Know that you count, you are worthy and you have purpose. This is one area of my life that I am putting behind me - and distancing many people in my life for my own well-being. The bullying, the negativity and abusive behaviors stop here because I am strong enough to say I won't allow people to have that power in my life, nor will I spend any time in my future dwelling.. From here on, it's about healing, moving forward and helping others.

2/ Self-Victimization - It's easy to get so lost within yourself that you can't even see a situation for what it really may be. I have spent a lot of my life playing victim for many reasons; the need for attention in the wrong places and from the wrong people, sometimes it was a way to get people to feel sorry for me, depression and isolating and finding reasons to stay in that empty, lonely, dark place within or simply because it's really all I ever knew. I am not proud of ever playing victim through life, and may have even hurt people in the past because of it. But today is about shaking it off, and stepping into the strong, positive and courageous being I am today and embracing the knowledge that I am no longer the girl I was. I am freeing myself and no longer bound to that negative spot within, the one I am ready to bury and not set myself up to go there anymore.. I am ready to work through the necessary means of leaving what weighs me down behind me. Today is about steps forward through self-discovery and much forgiveness.

3/ The last one, which I separated from number one due to it being a category all on it's own. Self-bullying. I am my own worst enemy. Nobody can be harder on me than I truly am with my own self. I don't give myself any breaks and I am so quick to knock myself down. Building my self-esteem will be something I am working on for the rest of my life, much like my recovery and my weight loss. Everyday I will seek ways to remind myself that I am someone worth celebrating, the same way I celebrate each of you everyday. Love for self hasn't been an easy road through addiction, eating disorders, bullying and life's paths I chose. I look back and I could easily pick myself apart for the wrong choices I made, the people I know I disappointed and the horrible things I've done to my body. There are many factors which helped break down my self-esteem, many of those factors being of my own doing, even. Today, I am choosing to be transparent - to allow you all to see the real me shine and mostly to allow myself to see that, to not hide and be invisible any longer. To reach for dreams, achieve my goals and to simply believe in myself, feel my worth and not bully someone I am learning to love. If I am passionate about putting a stop to bullying, then why do I deserve to bully myself.

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” - Buddha

So as I sign off this blog, I am feeling really good about these steps forward.
Steps to leaving it all behind, forgiveness, distancing where necessary. Self-love, self-esteem and self-worth; up-steps and consistently surrounding myself with positive things and positive people.. Pursuing my passions in putting myself out there to help make changes; to stop bullying and to raise awareness and to pay it all forward, every day.