Tag Archive | healthy choices

Learning to Trust…Myself

Trust is Hard. But that’s okay because hard is a marvelous improvement on impossible.

At some point I stopped listening to myself and what I need or want. Did I ever listen? Actually maybe not. I was never permitted to create my own identity as a child. I never went through the finding myself stage as an adolescent. I believe I am doing that now. Teenage angst at age 40, yeah, that’s exactly what I need. Yay.

I am noticing that in the midst of this angst, once in a while I notice little sparks of wonderfulness. These sparks are so startling and so powerful they stop me in my tracks and fuel me for days. What was that? Why did it happen? How can I make it happen again? Is it possible I can feel good one day? Is it okay to hope? Is it safe to dream yet?

After some of these sparks, I noticed a difference in myself. It’s tough to put this in words because it is only a hazy sort of feeling. But I noticed something more solid inside of me. Less dead? Less empty? Something instead of nothing. When you have perpetual nothing, believe me a spark of something almost knocks you over.

I recall caring about stuff, having dreams and motivation, being driven towards goals and achieving, hell overachieving – but I don’t think those were my goals or dreams. Not entirely anyway. I’m still unraveling. It’s not such a painful process at the moment, only a slow one. Like walking through deep water with my eyes closed. Slow going and once in a while I feel something new. Mostly I just keep trudging along because I don’t know what else to do.

But when I feel this new something, I have less doubts in myself. I used to feel confident in my choices and decisions. I used to walk around with a fierce internal driving force, yes a quietly burning one, but still there it was driving me towards my future that I planned. This new confidence, although fleeting, is making small ripples of change. I’ve been stuck for years now, without a plan, unemployed, waiting, healing, recovering. I’m hopeful these glimpses, these sparks of strength and confidence will keep coming, and will help me to learn to trust myself, my judgment and my decisions. Feeling like every decision you ever made has been wrong tends to undermine your own trust, a major component in PTSD. So I’ve been working quite hard to go back and look at those decisions with compassion, understand I did the best I could with the tools I had available at the time, and that truthfully, there is no way of knowing if past decisions were bad, maybe they would have had different outcomes but not necessarily better outcomes.

 

falcon-1570803_1920.jpg

I was fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of one of these handsome fellows perched in a tree the other morning after I dropped the kids off at school. I was unable to capture my own photo sadly, so I’ve borrowed one here to show you. We have a decent population of peregrine falcons and their bright white chests always catch my attention if their size didn’t. These birds are huge, majestic, strong, fast, and beautiful. They tend to sit just like this with their wings out a bit, I imagine ready for flight in an instant.

Why am I telling about this bird? Because of how I feel when I see one. I feel alive. Instant tingles of joy spread through my body. I feel lucky. I feel stronger, like his strength is on loan to me. I feel like we did something right, well, after we screwed up and nearly killed them all unintentionally with that whole DDT nightmare. These birds almost disappeared, due to humans, but humans saved them and now they choose to live in my trees and grace me with their presence.

I guess these birds remind me that we can change the world, or at least make an impact. Our actions do matter. We can wipe out species or bring them back. We can lift up and support people or cut them down and trample them. We can choose to ignore our problems or we can work on improving the situation. Change takes time, but when it works, it works beautifully.

I’m applying this to my own recovery and trying to be more patient with myself, and to celebrate improvements no matter how small. This helps to build trust in myself that I can care for me, and that I’ll stop hurting me. When you self-harm, self-sabotage, and self-punish you see yourself as an enemy too. I hope this makes sense because I rewrote three times and I still think it may be out of sequence somewhat, but its the best I can do with it. I’m trying to show how my thinking is changing, that I’m starting feel alive in fleeting moments, which leads to new self care behaviors (like establishing and protecting my boundaries, eating healthier, getting social support, making friends, better hygiene, etc), which builds trust in myself and stops the self loathing cycle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking the Night Snack habit – Night 2

Night 1, I still had an entire sleeve of club crackers before bed, but I slept in bed, and did not have anything after the crackers, though I wanted some ice cream very badly. Its peppermint time of year.

Night 2 – I was planning all day long not to eat after 10pm and picturing my warm cozy bed. I pulled out the oreos at 7pm after dinner and had them WITH the kids. We all had 3 cookies while we sorted laundry and danced around like goofs. I wanted more, but not intensely, I never do in front of the kids. I had 2 more while they weren’t looking. I went back to work, supervising and training my overseas personnel has to bed done early morning and late at night. I finished around 11pm, had a glass of water, brushed my teeth, and got in bed. I really wanted my tv show – rewatching Gilmore Girls – but I felt no great need for food. I got in bed and fell asleep before 1 episode was done.

Sleep was twitchy and some dreams were disturbing, but no panic or screaming. Hubby is being really great, now that I talked to him again, about snuggling me when I’m awake and staying on his side of the bed while I’m sleeping. He just needed a reminder. I shouldn’t have tried to protect him and hide my feelings, but old habits die hard. I also switched sides of the bed. Light Bulb!! For years Hubby has been sleeping on the side by the alarm clock since he gets up earlier than I do. But I realized that due to my tiny bedroom with the bed against the wall and sloping ceiling, that I was feeling trapped in bed on my side. He’s fine with the change if it means I am back in bed and not the couch. Seems so simple stupid, but hey sometimes life is.

I woke up easily this morning, before my 7am alarm. Did some stretches and yoga before waking the kids. Being mindful, I noticed that my knee is hurting again, and I was actually a  little hungry this morning, not all bloated. I had a protein bar to make it easy on me, I don’t usually eat breakfast, just coffee. It tasted way too sweet, but I still ate it. I hope to have real food eventually, but I’m taking baby steps and I know I’ll fail if I change too much at once.

I have scheduled wii fit time for my lunch break to reduce day stress. It is on my calendar and will chime at me. I’ve scheduled meetings around it.

I’m planning and picturing tonight in a positive way, mentally rehearsing what I want to happen. I want to eat a 1 serving dinner, read the kids a bedtime story, finish work , stretch and do some yoga, watch gilmore girls (Lorelai and her mom have a better relationship than I do with mine, wow) and fall sleep again in a warm bed.

 

 

Some things I was reading today:

http://www.waldenbehavioralcare.com/resources/popular-searches/night-eating-syndrome/

http://www.prevention.com/health/sleep-energy/5-signs-youre-sleep-deprived?s=6

 

I felt alive and I liked it

I had a beautiful moment last night, so beautiful I have to share it. Something so simple, or should be so simple, but has been out of my reach for so many years with PTSD always curbing me and taking over. Let me explain how I got here.

I have decided to love my body and take care of it this year. I started with a focus on being more active, adding wii fit and curves to my day, most days. I am eating healthy foods, lots of salad and veggies now, much ore than before. For now, I am not excluding the unhealthy foods. I am allowing the over eating and candy and chips when the urge comes. I tell myself go ahead if I need to do this. My hope is to remove some of the guilt, and eventually maybe when my body/mind are stronger I won’t need it any more. Or once exercise is such a routine part of my life, a part I no  longer force but look forward to (believe it or not, I am almost there already) that I can then focus on reducing the junk and curbing the binges.

I’ve started to think of myself like an old home that was neglected and abused for many years. It isn’t the house’s fault that is has cracks and holes, spiderwebs, creaking joints, and skeletons in the closet. I think I have already taken the boards off the windows, and let the sun shine in. I have already swept out much of the dirt and bagged so much trash.

And now I have started the exciting process of rebuilding.

Some of the foundation was bad – no problem, remove and rebuild. But keep the good parts, recognize the good and valuable parts and restore those to enhance. (no problem, ya right, this process has taken a decade so far, two decades since I left AF’s home)

This is making much more sense to me now. See, if I have decided I will live, pushed away the suicidal thoughts, then my thoughts go to improving where I live, including this body of mine. I can never be young again, but I can make my body a comfortable place to live, something that feels like home.

After so many years of disassociating and ignoring and even hurting my body, and so many years of my lower half ignoring me from the spinal injury – this is a huge step forward for me to feel like I own my body, or that I AM my body. And even bigger to want to take care of it. Beauty is a secondary goal, health and strength are my first.

But something unexpected has started happening. I am reconnecting with my body. I am able to hear cries of hunger, whimpers of pain, and sometimes when I am full. I still tend to ignore that last one, but that’s ok for now.

I realized last night just how far I have come. I was lying in bed alone, watching TV, when Hubby finally came up to our room. His presence brought me comfort, not fear or annoyance. He got in bed and turned away from me. I had the strongest thought that I wanted him to hold me. But it was more of something I felt in my body, not my mind, not really a thought. Like if you ever position your body to have the sun warm your back, you do this without thinking, because your body wants it. Or when you curl your cold fingers into your palm, again, a bodily desire more than thought.

I’ve been noticing all kinds of signals lately for my body desiring comfort. This was completely foreign to me, and only last night have I started to piece together what some of the other ones were earlier this week.

I rubbed his back a little and waited for him to roll over. This need was growing stronger in me, and it wasn’t something familiar to me. It wasn’t sexual arousal. It wasn’t the usual urgent demand for attention. This was soft and gentle, like my skin needed him. I wanted his arms to surround me, I wanted to hear his heart beat, wanted to feel his breath on my hair. I never knew these could be desires, or how strongly I could desire it. He wasn’t turning, so I asked him. I spoke up, feeling a little silly at first, and clearly asked him to hold me a while if he could. He instantly turned around, wrapped his arms around me and I snuggled in – into heaven – just breathing him in, feeling him against me, and feeling so happy. So happy to just be there with him, wrapped in his love. I felt it, and I craved it, and I knew how to ask for it. I love being close to him, and having the ability to feel close to him.

We snuggled for a while, both drinking in each other’s warmth, and then drifted off to sleep.

In that moment, I thanked my body for allowing this to happen. I didn’t freak out, I didn’t freeze up, no flashbacks, no triggers. I was there, in that beautiful moment, loving him, and feeling loved back. In every cell of my body, like a warm wave. Nothing shocking, nothing scary. Just right. Being able to feel joy came to me a few years ago. But this? This is better. This was subtle and lasted much longer.

I felt alive and I liked it.

That’s when I realized I am learning how to live in my own body, and not just my damaged mind. I don’t think I have ever wanted to snuggle or hug before, pretty sure I’ve never initiated it, and really sure I have never gone that long without the guarded thoughts and tensing up somehow during a snuggle.

Now here’s the thing. I fully expect that another time he’ll wrap his arms around me and trigger a traumatic memory. I no longer care about being cured. I don’t think in terms of being healed, or all better – that may never happen and I accept it. He does too.

I am ever so grateful for that lovely moment, and I have been reliving it all morning to keep the memory fresh, and try to reinforce this new pathway. I will seek out more of these gentle feelings and roll around in them. I am so used to feeling the extremes, the intense emotions and feelings that I could not control. Had I been blocking these simple, yet wonderful parts of daily life – because I could? Had I been blocking them to protect myself from feeling, from triggering, from remembering? My guess is yes. That I learned to shut off my body signals so long ago for survival. But I no longer think anything is impossible.

Maybe one day the PTSD reactions will fade away. Maybe they won’t. I don’t know. I will live for today and work hard just in case, for the many tomorrows and see what else may happen. Life can be beautiful. Namaste.

Being Good to Me

Supervised physical therapy may be helpful to ...

This is not me or the machine I use, but something similar. Curves uses hydraulics, not weights (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My body is moving. I don’t have to fight so hard to get myself moving. Mornings are terrible, but then I never expect that to change about me. But when it time to go to curves, I actually get excited. And then I look in the mirror and check that I am still me, because I have never been excited about exercise.

My mom is still being supportive – amazingly so. She sent me a check in the mail to pay for my Curves membership. No strings attached – the card just said you deserve to feel good and healthy. Wow. I can’t think too much about it, I’m trying to accept it on face value.

Curves is good for me. I’ve gone about 6 times now and I feel that I’ve used my muscles but nothing hurts. I get my heart rate up, I get my muscles warm, I get just a little sweaty and out of breath, but not too bad. The 30 minutes fly by fantastically quick. The women there are all supportive, and although they get chatty with each other, it is easy enough to ignore. They see I am focused and rarely engage me in the chatter. They watch me curiously as I hold my weak leg, assist it into position on the machines with a hand, but so far only my trainer/coach has asked about it. I use a neoprene brace velcroed around my knee to give it extra support and I guess I’m doing well if it doesn’t hurt (any more than it usually does). The machines are great for me, they keep me aligned and really make it impossible to hurt yourself by overextending. They have resistance from hydraulic cylinders, no weights. They have this squat machine that has me dropping it like its hot and release my inner shawty, something I can’t do at all without falling over without a machine to hold on to. NOT sexy to fall over. Not at all. (not quite ass to grass yet, but this may be possible some day)

Next part may be triggering – dug up some unwanted memories

I’m trying to figure out my new attitude. I used to HAVE to exercise ferociously. First reason was to keep any bit of tone in my jelly leg, I had to keep it moving. My spinal injury removed that involuntary muscle movement that keeps us toned. I knew the meaning of ‘use it or lose it’ better than anyone. 1 day off my crazy routine and I would have to start over, sometimes even resorting back to electrodes to get my muscles to respond again. I had to keep moving.

I want to leave out the part that my AF used to make me do certain exercises to shape my body for his own viewing pleasure. This was in elementary school, years before my surgery or required PT. He had an entire routine for me that we would do together every night, specially designed by him he said for maximum sculpting. Some parts of this routine he would time, some parts he would count for me. Watching me work out. And of course he touched me. He’d say he was improving my form or checking if I was working hard enough as he adjusted my leg positions, his hand on my flexed bottom and thighs as I did leg lifts. I’m getting that panicky feeling as I realize I have never spoken or written about these particular memories before, so that’s all the detail I am going to give today and save this for processing with my therapist.

And then I had to exercise to be perfect. In high school I was so ashamed of my limp, and ashamed of what I thought was a fat and freakish body. I exercised compulsively while starving my under 100 lb body for many years.

Fast forward to about 6 years ago, I was about at the point I am now. I was making healthy choices, adding regular but not overdone exercise. I was losing baby weight and feeling pretty good. Until I started gaining weight out of the blue and could not figure out why. I started gaining quickly, and it was only when I could not button my jeans that it dawned on me I could be pregnant. Ah. Yes. I was on the pill, and had just stopped nursing my baby a few months back. My cycle had been irregular all year, I thought nothing of more irregularity. Yup. I was about 7 weeks along when I figured it out. That turned out to be a difficult pregnancy, I was on bed rest for most of it, and it was the end to my exercise for many years. The depression during and after that baby was terrible and I barely recall those times, but I’m fairly certain exercise was not a part of it at all. I remember my couch mostly, and moving about like a drugged zombie trying to care for so many young children. I never thought about me, I just had to survive each day.

So to remember those days, and see me now, I am very proud of my progress, and amazed at the human ability to change, to improve, to survive, and to do what used to seem impossible. I am adding my reality check here again, because although I think I am on the right track, enjoying many parts of my days, I still have this heavy feeling, if I look too closely, that says it is all pointless and asks me why I continue to work so hard. I know it is there, but lately I can ignore those thoughts, mostly.

Is that why they say ‘idle hands are the devil’s play thing?’ Does this happen to everyone? Do we all have a demon inside trying to poison us from the inside out and make us give up?

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Throwing Life a Curve Ball

Usually Life throws those curve balls at me, so I decided to switch that up. I have done something new and completely out of character for myself, as an experiment, to see what happens.

I joined a fitness club! What??? Yes I did.

It is called Curves and is only for women. You go for 30 minutes a day, as many days a week as you can. You do cardio and hydraulic resistance machines in a circuit, and the machines chart your progress on a little computer key card and keep you working towards a goal. I had my consultation yesterday and today is my first workout, and I am surprised to find that I am looking forward to it.

My primary goal is to get stronger, secondary is to lose some weight. I am so close to a healthy BMI now and I so badly want that Wii Fit character to announce I am normal and not overweight. With everything else abnormal, that would be a huge accomplishment  and such a comfort. I am hopeful that I can get stronger and maybe life won’t hurt so much, like if my muscles are stronger maybe I won’t pull my back and joints out of place so easily and suffer for days because I did something so crazy as lift a laundry basket.

Why I think this program will work for me, why I chose it out of the many options:

  • It is only for women, huge comfort in that
  • It is highly structured
  • It is highly varied, I never do the same thing for more than 60 seconds (ADD heaven!)
  • Positive and supportive atmosphere – everyone there chose to be there to get healthier
  • The women come in and are focused, minimal chit chat
  • No locker room, get in and out, no nakedness, and also minimal chit chat
  • It is close to my home
  • It is far enough away from home that I will not be a hermit
  • It is expensive – I will go as much as possible so I don’t feel like I wasted money
  • I enjoy my Wii Fit time everyday and wanted to add weights
  • I don’t want to be like my older female relatives, overweight, have huge amounts of pain, bone density loss, diabetes, and flappy underarms, so I need to get off that path right now
  • I want to feel proud of myself and chart my progress with measurable numbers
  • I am doing this for me, because I want to take care of me
  • Hubby is on board and ready to be here with kids
  • They let me sign up for 1 month, no contract
  • It is low impact, easy on my knees and back
  • I saw women in their 60’s doing it, so I should be able to manage
  • I also saw women in their 20’s doing it, and getting out what they put it
  • I’m ready to feel the burn!
  • I’m ready to kick some butt!
  • I’m ready to have a cute butt! (blush)

Watch out Life, here I come (cue some sort of Rocky type of theme music here)

Disclaimer – (No, I am not as excited as all of this, I wish I was. I actually feel kind of meh, kind of blah, very tired, and actively squashing doubts and battling anxiety. But I am going to do this anyway and see what happens. I’m trying this motivated me on for size. I am going to give it my all for 1 month, hopefully more, but I built in a limit to get myself to do it.)

 

 

wise hermit, or hermit crab

English: Caribbean hermit crab (Coenobita clyp...

is my role to be a wise hermit or just a hermit crab, only time will tell(Coenobita clypeatus) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday’s poem was in response to my thought process as I pre-worry about social events (casual family events, not black tie or huge crowds or anything crazy like that) and try to make the best choices. I am new to this notion of even having a choice, and I struggle with the process, struggle with pros and cons, and lasting effects.

The one I am pre-worrying about is my mother-in-law’s 70th birthday party. It will be fairly small, just her kids and grandkids. About 12 people total. I know everyone really well. And although she has done so much for me over the years, helping to watch kids and help with household chores, she causes me great stress. Hubby’s whole family is a high energy – and way too often it is a high negative energy – bunch. They are strongly opinionated and express those opinions loudly.

They all have good hearts, and I care about each one, but all of their energies in one room gets to be a bit too much for me every time. every word is something complaining or arguing, and they yell, have quick tempers, and fuss and nit-pick. I know it will be just a few hours but it will take me a day to recover. So I never know if causing them concern over me not being there, or all of the questions and having to re-explain why I am not without being hurtful,  is worth it or not. Plus, I do care about her and do want to see her enjoy her birthday. So I will probably go, and join in for well wishes, and then isolate myself with a book and pretend I can’t hear the conversations around me. Or if I am up to it, I may try to join the kids and play games, avoiding the adults. But then I don’t want to seem like a party pooper or like I don’t care about them. If they needed something, and it was something I could do, I would be there in an instant. And maybe that is part of the trouble, is I have a difficult time discerning real troubles from their long list of complaints. Are they asking for help? Just venting? Or is this their party persona speaking?

I am most afraid they will ask my opinion and I will actually give it. I don’t have much energy for a filter these days, and I’m honestly wondering if those social filters should even exist. I have worked so hard to be real with myself and Hubby and it seems hypocritical, and honestly quite triggering, to put on my happy happy pretend smile.

So I will spend the next few days worrying about the worst case scenario, and realize it won’t be THAT bad, try to focus on the good in each of these people. In reality life is hard for everyone and we all choose a path that seems to make sense at the time of choosing. Just because I am on this path, it doesn’t make it right for everyone. Some people don’t want to change, and I guess it isn’t my job to try to make them think about their choices.

Maybe I am like the wise old hermit up in the cave, that only helps those that come to him, because offering help to those that don’t want it is a frustrating and fruitless venture. Now I actually feel more like a hermit crab than anyone with wisdom to offer, but that’s a different point entirely.

 

If you’d like to learn more about the people who will be at this party, keep reading below for a short bio of each one.

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His mom is a true matriarch, and has ruled on her throne for many years. She is strong and amazingly talented and creative. She has one of those voices that you can hear above everyone else. When meeting her at busy trade shows, one only has to listen to know where she is, because she is that loud, and always talking. Always. I have never seen that woman just sit and think. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen her just sit. She may actually have ADHD, at least compared to laid back me, she is like the Tasmanian devil swirling about me as I try to absorb what she is saying and find she has already moved onto something else. She is so busy, working on hundreds of things at once, remodeling her house, making products for her small business, gardening and landscaping (her yard is beautiful, acres of carefully planned flowers, trees, and veggies), and cleaning. Her knee replacement surgery hardly slowed her down at all.

Her oldest daughter, hubby’s sister, is very much like her, hard working, always busy, speed talking, and obsessed with material things, but lacking any confidence or decision making skills. She still calls her mom several times a day for advice, and calls me or her siblings if she can’t reach her mother. They spend so much time shopping and hunting for deals for the next time they go shopping. They buy things (imo) that they don’t need just because it was on sale. They never let coupons go to waste. I told them one time they would save more money by not buying anything in the first place, that 100% off was better than 50% off, and well, they did not like that. So usually I just listen and say how wonderful all their new things are. And then this gets tricky, because we do business with this sister and she often owes us money, but can’t pay, and has a million reasons why, but her new ipad/iphone/clothes/car/curtains/plane tickets/movies are never included in those reasons. It is hard to listen to all the nice things she has, when I have delayed paying my electric bill again this month. I know this is my choice not to use credit cards and only spend money I actually have and so I try not to judge others harshly for how they spend money. But when she owes me money, it is very difficult to listen with a smile.

Then there’s her daughter, my oldest niece on that side of the family, the most spoiled teenager ever created. Her parents divorced when she was 4, so for the last 10 years they have each bought her anything and everything to make up for splitting up the family. She is an only child, and gets everything: expensive clothes and haircuts, expensive private lessons for sports and music, expensive vacations (she is bored of Disneyworld, can’t we go somewhere else?). My daughter gets many of her hand-me-down outfits, and I am grateful for that. We also got her old ipod when she got a new one. And her bikes, because she had 3 at one point. This girl rarely smiles and still screams and stomps to ger what she wants, and it always works. The 2 of them live in a 5 bedroom house so full of stuff you would think a huge family lived there. I try not to be jealous when I think of my family crammed into our tiny house. Or deflect the sting when my kids ask why she has an imac/iphone/ds/trampoline/American girl dolls and every accessory/etc. I know my kids don’t need all of that, but it is hard for my kids to understand why this girl gets everything in the world.

Father-in-law accepts his place as low on the totem pole. He seems happy and I often wonder how it can be so. MIL criticizes and publicly ridicules him, calling him an idiot and lazy in front of the grandkids. If anything goes wrong, you can bet it was Grandpa’s fault. MIL is never wrong, never late, never forgets, and never rests. But Grandpa seems to know Grandma needs him to have this role, and so he fills it without complaint. Usually. Every once in a while he will fight back, and then things get ugly. Name calling and yelling and slamming doors. But get Grandpa alone and he is gentle, has great stories, and great love for all of us. He seems to know and love that he lives with a wildebeest.

Hubby’s brother and wife are similar to us financially, having more kids than space, more bills than income. But they are caught up in the PTA and church world and continually trying to be more than they are. They drive their kids to a school in an upscale neighborhood and try to keep with the Joneses. Hubby’s brother is his identical twin, but they are worlds apart. My kids call him Uncle daddy which is so cute. He is a good guy, but it appears has followed in his dad’s footsteps and is ruled by his wife. A few years ago when my marriage was crumbling, I reached out to this SIL for support. She loved hearing about all the problems and shared similar issues with the brother. But we went to counseling, tried a healing separation, talked, worked and fought to get back to each other – and we did. I now have a partner, an equal. Well, she no longer wanted to listen to me, and I’m not sure why, other than misery loves company so it hurts to see us happy? I have tried over the years to be a friend to her, ask her to lunch or a movie, and the answer is no unless I want to go complain about husbands. She suffers from anxiety and panic, takes something occasionally. She is smarter and more talented than she’ll ever believe, her own dysfunctional childhood robbed her of that. So she does not try to better herself and accepted a job cleaning toilets even though she has a college degree. They made it through infertility, adopted 2 amazing kids, but I think she feels like something is missing, like it was her fault. But we can’tr discuss these things. She is a strong perfectionist, and I’m afraid I know the pain of trying to be perfect. I think she talks big and feels small. Her sister is the reason that the other SIL got divorced. A true family affair, despicable, and puts so much tension in the air, because she went to her sister’s wedding and supported her, not knowing what else to do. So I cringe any time she speaks about her or her parents, that knew about the affair and kept it secret. Her kids are the same ages as my kids, and the cousins always have a great time playing together. We don’t live that far from each other, but rarely get together.

 

 

 

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My body is talking to me

English: A young seal at Donna Nook This perso...

I thought this little guy’s tummy was a much better image to share my own 🙂 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My body is finally talking to me, or I am finally able to interpret what it says, not sure which. Either way, I am very happy about this development!

I have had a long journey, spanning 3 decades, of disordered eating. Between the dulled nerves from my spinal cord injury and constantly ignoring whatever hunger signals I did have (for various reasons I have posted about previously), I can’t recall ever feeling full or satisfied from food. I remember that feeling of being over-full, like after thanksgiving or my binge sessions, but I never had the “you’re almost full, you can stop eating now” signal.

Until recently. Yay! I apologize if this post seems silly, like ‘is she really writing about how her belly feels’? Yes, yes I am.

I decided to use the New Year as motivation to improve my health (like so many others, but hey, I don’t have to be unique). I don’t have a specific weight loss goal, instead I am focusing on eating more whole foods and less junk, and exercising daily (wii fit plus!). I used to rely on so many boxed and packaged foods to quickly feed my family. We are getting much less wrapped food now, and instead going for fruits, veggies, greek yogurt, cheese, etc when we want a snack. Sugar is being reduced slowly, but significantly. I’m not going health food crazy, just little changes that I am hoping will add up over time. Teaching myself and my kids how to make healthy choices. (Hubby is a lost cause I’m afraid 🙂

The first time I felt full was about 2 weeks ago. It was such a strange feeling, I actually had no idea what it was. I thought maybe I had some gas or IBS acting up, but realized it wasn’t uncomfortable, just foreign. I ignored it, and then it happened again the next time I ate. I still had food on my plate, but I felt this strange feeling again. I actually thought something was wrong, and that maybe I was getting that tummy virus that had been going around, so I stopped eating dinner and didn’t eat any more that night, just in case.

Next morning I was woken up by my tummy growling. What? I have heard other people’s tummy, but not my own in way too many years. I ate a little breakfast, and had that same strange feeling. It was then I figured it out. My tummy was telling me I had enough to eat! Is this what full feels like?

I am so happy to have rediscovered what should be such a basic part of my functionality. I keep listening to this new feeling, and it keeps coming back, and feels so good now. It is such a simple contented feeling, and so peaceful. And I have already lost 5 pounds this year. I don’t think my scale has gone backwards for over a year and a half, maybe longer.

Here’s to a healthier year!

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