Archive for July, 2007

The new pool I found isn’t one in which I can swim. It’s the local lake and it has a lovely park around it. I swam over the weekend, but this week I found that I prefer to take a walk with DH instead of swimming. Next week on Tuesday DD and I fly to the US for our vacation, and I’ll miss DH something terrible, so I prefer to spend time with him this week rather than swim.

Eating is normal. I like this pattern I have now of a light/no breakfast (but always drink my hot water), a lunch with good protein and plenty of veggies, an afternoon snack and a light dinner. 2 liters of water a day is easy, 3 is too much.

This week I have a lot going on at work, so I’m focusing there. On vacation, I expect to have plenty of time for reflection and personal development, which is my reward for hard work this week.

On my vacation I also have plenty of incentive to eat. We don’t get to the US very often, and being American, the food is always tempting. After booking the hotel, I find that we’ll be right next to a Cheesecake Factory, which combines ALL of the deadly food sins of America: indulgence, cheesecake, chinese chicken salad, layer cake, pizza, apple crisp, Sunday brunch, brownies, and the list goes on (grin).

This is deadly, except I’ve learned a couple of things about going to the Cheesecake Factory:

  • Dessert can be taken home
  • Meal leftovers can be taken home
  • When I do takeout instead of eating in, the food lasts at least 3 days

It’s a challenge for normal eating, certainly, but I have been clever and rented a room with a fridge and microwave. This means I’ll be able to eat til satisfied, then save the rest for a future meal. When I travel I always go to the store at my final destination and pick up disposable plates, knives and forks, which makes eating in my room easy. The only thing better than indulging in the Cheesecake Factory is being able to enjoy it more than once without having to buy more food.

  1. Walking was easier than I thought last night
  2. I’m happy to combine exercise with DH quality time
  3. The affirmation “What will it take?” comes in handy often
  4. The people at my last pool are extremely friendly for Germans
  5. I feel strong and like swimming to build strength

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If you can see it in your mind, lrc, it’s real. And if you can consistently hold onto that image, if only when you visualize each day, the hard part is done.

All that remains is merging the two worlds together, the present and the one you’ve imagined, which is my part. And you can best help me align circumstances, coincidences, and chance encounters by getting busy, going out into the world, and moving in the general direction of your dreams, even if only to do what your peers might do, who know not of life’s magic.

But you know the truth, lrc. You know how life works. Do not waiver in your march. No matter how humble your steps, this is how I will reach you. And as you witness one dream come true after another – first the small ones, then the big ones, then the huge ones – you’ll remember why you were first drawn to the jungles of time and space… if you haven’t already figured it out.

I subscribe to an email service that sends me suck-up emails. OK, maybe not strictly suck-up, but the intent of the email is to give me motivation to stay positive. This message was pretty nice, compared to the ones which sound like they think I’m from outer space: True, new arrivals here often look for the light; for comfort, direction and to be bathed in unconditional love.

The part about making small dreams come true, one after the other, is the best part. Finally I’m seeing my thinking work giving me small rewards by showing up when I least expect it.

  1. While driving to the pool, I got lost. It frustrated me to the point of tears, when I realized that my frustration was something I could choose to replace with another feeling. I replaced it with the option of just going back home, after which I knew that I preferred to swim. That calmed me down enough to find the right direction.
  2. My portion sizes are getting smaller without being unsatisfying. I’m noticing that I can stop eating earlier
  3. I’m able to make the mental connection between smaller portion sizes and smaller food budget. Yesterday I bought just enough food for dinner. No leftovers, no hunger.
  4. My focus during exercise is best when I look at the ripples in the water. I see each color individually: light and dark blues, silver reflections, golden glints from the sun
  5. I’m beginning to understand how these habits all come together to make “discipline”

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  1. I’m clean. My skin is moisturized. My hair is conditioned. I slept like a log.
  2. Tonight I go out with the girls straight from work
  3. The good changes in my body are visible, and I can even see them myself
  4. Snapping my fingers is my way of reminding myself to get focused back on the task at hand (I taught this to myself)
  5. Work is comfortably busy
  6. Starting my day with positives helps me stay peaceful
  7. Swimming makes me stronger
  8. Two weeks until vacation – fun and games in the US!

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Today I’m actively reducing the amount I eat and increasing the amount I move and refocusing the way I think. A dozen times I’ve asked myself, “What will it take to keep me on my goal?” then I follow the question with an answer and an action.

Here are some of the things I’ve told myself or done today.

  • Visualize how good I will feel if I make a positive choice
  • Check in on every important decision
  • Walking a little faster
  • Telling myself to “lose the drama,” it’s not that bad
  • Choosing things to do other than obsessing
  • Visualizing my body at its final state
  • “I chose this”
  • “Ben and Jerry won’t give me what I want right now”
  • “It’s ok to eat less”
  • “I don’t have to punish myself with food”
  • Eating when I’m hungry, but keeping the portions very small
  • Cutting back the richness in my meals
  • Tasting my food carefully

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Whatever it takes? How can you define that?

For me, whatever it takes is whatever it takes, short of violating my primary values. For example, I won’t kill to be thin and free of the ED.

Doing whatever it takes means the following:

  1. Doing what you think you need to be doing
  2. Assess the efficacy of your choices and actions
  3. Repeat until you get the results you want

This is hard, no doubt about it. At its worst, you will experience frustration, feelings of ineffectiveness, and want to give up. At best, you’ll discover strengths you never knew you had, the joy of success, and strong motivation.

My biggest personal frustration has been around actually losing weight after recovering. I am thrilled with my progress in stopping binging and self-talk, even in exercise. But finding the right amount and type of eating that meets all 3 needs (emotional, physical and rational) is difficult. Now I am beginning to perceive myself as an ED-recovered person in a body still carrying the burden of the ED. I feel like I’m truly me now, and just have some excess energy (OK, a LOT of excess energy) to burn off to let my body catch up with the rest of me.

So I’m using the phrase “whatever it takes” as my mantra this week. I repeat this phrase a hundred times or more a day, each time I encounter a choice. “I want to do whatever it takes,” I whisper to myself, “What will it take right now, this very minute?”

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Gradually I’m noticing that I don’t want to eat rich foods as often anymore. Today at lunch, I was tired and hungry, but the sauce on the potatoes seemed too rich for me. (Ate it anyway)

Then at coffee, DH and I split a cookie bar, a Nestle Snack. Also too rich.  Ate it anyway, too. Hmmm. Seems to be a pattern here.

I’m so busy focusing on how much I’ve been eating, and encouraging myself to get in touch with satisfaction that I am forgetting to remind myself how I can also enjoy eating lightly.

I think I’ll start affirming that I can choose light, fresh, watery foods as well as rich chocolates and heavy sauces. That’s what I call adding a little asceticism to my life. Maybe not as strong as your average monk, but still a little cleaner than average for me. Sort of tightening up a little.

What would make my tummy feel better than it does at this moment? Mmmm, watermelon, salad, apples, crackers, tuna, …

  1. I left food on my plate today without even thinking about it
  2. I’m happily taking a rest day away from swimming
  3. I just forgave myself for being unhappy that I was not perfect in German this morning
  4. There are several easy ways I can improve my German
  5. I measured my hips yesterday. Down 6 inches.

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I noticed that I was spending way too much time obsessing about numbers on the scale, so I gave it up for the moment. Funny how it’s still drawing me, this morning was typical. DH and were in the bathroom, getting ready for work.

There’s a bathtub book rack that DD puts on the scale when she takes a bath, and I use it as the “reason” to not step on the scale. At one point DH takes the rack off and weighs himself. He puts the rack back on the tub, where it belongs, then he returns to the bedroom to get dressed. It’s just me and the scale, beckoning to be stepped on. I remind myself that my goals are not about the scale at the moment, and escape.

I plan on getting on the scale 3x this month. Once this week, once next week, and once after vacation is over. But not today.

My positives

  1. It feels better to not weigh frequently
  2. My swimming was great yesterday!
  3. I’m enjoying taking the day off from exercise today
  4. I’m learning how my body responds to a lot of water and a medium amount
  5. I like the way I’m a bit better organized now

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