Friday, January 01, 2016

Sitting with the Annoying Parts

I was with a friend of a friend recently, and we've seen each other socially before, and she rubs me the wrong way, each time. I feel competitive and threatened, inexplicably, and end up acting well, competitive and showy. Like I don't want to behave as a person. So when I saw her, I immediately started telling myself a story about how I need to compete with her. But then I paused and thought, hey, pay attention to this, this needs attention. And instead I sat with her and talked and asked genuinely curious questions and realized she just needed someone to listen to her. That's it. She needed someone to listen. We hugged when we parted ways that night.

Friends, this is such a great metaphor for life. And one I'm going to try really hard to apply to the ongoing struggle with self-doubt and self-judgement. Rather than dismiss, judge or criticize those parts of us that need attention: those nagging, annoying things that need attention and listening to. Take a minute with them. Sit with them and listen. Ask good questions. Listen. Find the empathy and pour it on. Hug at the end.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Stress Eating

A few months ago, I was having a massive amount of anxiety, and rushed over to the cafe here to get some food. I was also "hungry" (but what I'm finding is my anxiety often acts like hunger), but I got a huge salad with tons of chicken, spinach, etc. I.e. no tater tots or brownies.

I started to flog myself for this; saying horrible things to myself like you know, you really shouldn't be eating in response to anything but hunger. You shouldn't be reaching for food to provide you with anything besides nourishment.

But then I thought, no, fuck that. Eating makes me feel good and I'm not cracking out on Doritos, I'm eating healthy food and yes, the above crappy admonishments are also true, but when I'm at capacity is not the best time to be acting all perfectionisty. It's like a ship sinking and I know I should jump but I'm concerned about my cannonball form. WTF.

Also, I was talking to my therapist the other night and she reminded me that eating is very grounding to me. And rather than try to make that not be the case and I really wish I was more like that one blogger who never ever celebrates with food, I am not. I am me. And food and eating IS very very grounding to me. And I think it will always be. I can't wish it another way; I can be careful and mindful of the bottomless bag of potato chips night, as I am. I can choose healthy things and eat slowly to savor my food and really ENJOY the grounding experience rather than rushing through my meals, wishing I wasn't this way, and just hoping for the best.

I feel like I need to end on some uplifting sentence here, but that's truly all I got today to say about this. Savoring food and honoring my authenticity, FTW.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Still Navel Gazing After All These Years

Hooboy I could write 5,000 posts about my current deep thoughts on eating and all that stuff. I'll try to boil it down to the minimum here.

Basically, the Paleo (I use that term with an extreme eyeroll), or low-carb or whatever, means I feel slim/trim/fit/not puffy. I also feel more alert, less prone to energy crashes and just overall more energetic.

When I deviate from this in a general sense, (hey GF crackers and cheese for dinner), I feel yucky. Fluffy. Round. Bloated. Gassy. Sluggish. As if there cannot be enough coffee in the world to get me awake.

I also am so back and forth about the Whole 30. It is unsustainable long term, and isn't meant to be that way. I also really don't want to approach food for FOREVER with all these rules.

But dudes, the bottom line is this. I've experimented a lot lately with trying to eat kinda whatever I want but in smaller portions and eating slower. I've done a lot of thinking around do I eat what I want, or do I eat what I have to? I absolutely don't want to eat in a way that feels like drudgery, and I really eschew any eating or "diet" approach that strips emotions away from eating food, i.e. pleasure. Absolutely, I shouldn't be trying to stuff down emotions with brownies. But to deny pleasure and the emotions around food, as some of those whackadoo bloogers or "health experts" out there advise, is just not my jam. At all. Food is wonderfully pleasureable. And I always, always want it to be.

But when it comes to using food in a pleasurable way to make me happy, I think I need to broaden my definition of happy, and include less bloated and other associated traits that eating clean brings me. Basically it boils down to my last post: I'm continuing to go to what I want, and taking care of myself FIRST instead of after a series of energy sucking gyrations.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Circular habits

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been working really hard on addressing the root cause of my anxiety. It's going well. Without going into a lot of specifics, there are some very significant parts of my life that I can't control, unfortunately, and well, that causes a lot of anxiety. I've done a lot of work around co-dependency and asking for what I need and not taking on other people's stuff, and that has also been helpful.

But I think the most helpful thing was to just admit I have anxiety; the attempts to hide it or conceal it or minimize it made it so much worse.

In fact, I think ignoring my true needs or not being entirely honest with myself was causing tons and tons of stress in general. For instance, today I'm exhausted and have been all day. I first go to the place of THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE GET IT TOGETHER WHAT THE HELL. Then I go to FIX THIS RIGHT NOW DRINK MOARRRRR COFFEEEEE AND PUSH THROUGH.

Normally, my next step would be go work out and work out my obvious anxiety around this.

Instead, today I'm just gonna take a fucking nap. Because isn't that easier? TIRED = NAP. This is so painfully obvious when I type it out, but it's not in my head, most days. I have to somehow go through these circular gyrations. I'm hopeful with enough practice I can just START at hey, I'm going back to bed I'm tired. That's what I really wanted today, and didn't ask for it. Booooo.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

I'm here

I miss writing, so I'm posting again here. For a long time, I cared way too much about what you guys were reading, responding to and even thinking about my posts. I had completely negated the positive benefits I get from having this blog serve as my journal for life.

So I'll start small here, with what's going on. I have a tendency to go all checklisty and bullet shit out, but I find it more meaningful and a reach for me as a writer to write our paragraphs.

Today I'm interviewing my colleague to potentially be my new boss. My boss who recruited me, who I basically took the job for, left in July. It's actually been less devastating than I thought it would be; while she was extremely knowledgeable, warm and just ON IT, she also had a way of micromanaging that I was beginning to find a bit stifling during the 6 mos I worked with her. With her gone, I've been able to explore some new things, i.e. come up with my own strategies. For instance, she put me in charge of a project, and asked me to really weigh the best outcome for it and evaluate what was working with it and tweak/refine to make it better. I'd start, then she'd step in and give lots of early feedback, so I would get paralyzed thinking I was only to make refinement suggestions in her suggested direction. Which is less than ideal. Having her gone has enabled me to truly do those things, without fear of doing it "wrong" but really experimenting and seeing what works, then having a very open discussion with my acting boss about it. My acting boss is a LOVE. There's something extremely special about this place; the innovative spirit, the pioneering can-do attitude and the freedom to experiment, make changes and be accountable for your actions. It's my absolute dream job. I literally thank God for it every single day. With whoever my new boss is, I know that given our tight culture and zero douchebag tolerance, it will be a chance to grow and be pushed, with steady encouragement all along the way.

This fall I decided to finally stop pretending I had a little anxiety and just admit that I have full-blown anxiety disorder. I've been working with Lantern, which is an online anxiety class, and I've found it enormously helpful. The cognitive reframing exercise is life-changing (uh, literally). When I start to spiral and tell myself a story, I'm able to quickly categorize it, then ask some hard questions, i.e. is that actually true? Is that really likely to happen? I've also figured out that a lot of my anxiety comes from nervousness about being unprepared, which I think is probably just a lack of confidence on the fundamental level that I can handle whatever life tosses my way. Which is not true, by the way; I've shown up and proven to myself and others time and time again that I'm able to handle whatever happens. So the work around that is ongoing, since obviously my reality and what's in my head don't match up.

That's all the time I have today! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are getting ready for Christmas.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Self-Prescription List

I woke up in a funk. Unreasonable expectations for myself and tons of negative self-talk. Moving is hell, I had forgotten. It takes a while to develop new routines. Not to mention the stress of trying to find one thing and then having to make 10 decisions about the things you find in search of the one thing. Ugh. 

To add to the mix, just before the move I developed De Quervain's tendonitis which impacts my wrist and thumb, naturally in my dominant hand. So I can't go lift heavy things to work shiz out, as I normally do in the gym. It also means I can't go turbo through the new house getting shiz done. I have to rest my freaking wrist/thumb or it won't get better, the doc said yesterday. Plain and simple. Unfortunately.

I've also decided, because I am unreasonable (see above), that I would start a Whole30 because stress eating pirate's booty and GF pizza has me feeling uh, fluffy? And down. 

Thus the grumps this morning. I realized I needed a prescription to write for myself. What are the things I would tell a friend who is in this position?

1. Keep up with the training runs (duh). No brainer and easy with the arm. 
2. Figure out a 30 min. bodyweight workout I can do at home with my headphones on or in the damn driveway until I can lift heavy again. 
3. Eat clean *most* of the time. This weekend is Pete's birthday and I have a surprise dinner planned for him, which I would really like to enjoy with him too.
4. Exercise COMPASSION. 

Onward, you guys. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2015