Before we get to that, this is this week’s heart advice from Pema Chodron, which seems appropriate.
As adults, we begin to cultivate a sense of loving-kindness for ourselves—by ourselves, for ourselves. The whole process of meditation is one of creating that good ground, that cradle of loving-kindness where we actually are nurtured. What’s being nurtured is our confidence in our own wisdom, our own health, and our own courage, our own goodheartedness. We develop some sense that the way we are—the kind of personality that we have and the way we express life—is good, and that by being who we are completely and by totally accepting that and having respect for ourselves, we are standing on the ground of warriorship.
I’d probably say that we hope to begin to cultivate a sense of loving-kindness for ourselves, or need to, perhaps. As we recover from childhood, perhaps we learn again to love ourselves. Rather like trust, I think we don’t learn to love ourselves as children, we start from a place of loving ourselves and learn not to. After all, we spend our childhoods being told by everyone that we aren’t good enough, smart enough, well behaved enough, often pretty enough, talented enough, etc. Children are cruel, especially if we are different (and everyone is different) and adults are sometimes cruel but sometimes — well, studies have shown that in the home and in school the number of negative comments is some obscene multiplier higher than positive comments. It’s hard to tell the children in your lives what they are doing well and apparently easy to criticize what they could do better. That said, I’m not in favor of the never-criticize ideal that some advocate. Telling children that everything they do is great is a set up for quite a shock later on in life.
Today’s challenge (day 9) was to tell our bodies we love them. As usual, I felt pretty stupid when I started. I decided to do the assignment in the shower since it’s an easy place where I pay attention to each part of my body. And I felt silly. I’ve been pretty straight forward with how I don’t like my body, or at least the way it looks. But it helped when I started telling each part of my body a reason why I liked it. “I love you arm, you work really well for me.” “I love you hand, you are strong and open jars for me.” Okay, still silly but it felt more genuine and reminded me to appreciate my body even though I don’t love the way it looks. And those parts of my body that I couldn’t think of anything nice to say about, like my stomach? I apologized for not loving it. It’s not, after all, my stomach’s fault. Overall, this went better than attempts in the past.
Yesterday was all about not eating until you were hungry. That went pretty well. It helped, however, that I didn’t sleep much on Monday night and kept falling asleep yesterday. In fact, I laid down for “half an hour” after lunch and woke up almost four hours later. It’s pretty easy to not eat when you’re asleep. I did fine in the evening, went a little off the rails when it was close to time for bed – and ate overnight when I couldn’t sleep which is the major eating behavior I want to change.
I think that in general, not eating until you’re hungry is a good idea. Habitual eating is a killer. There are some valid reasons why this does not always work for me, but as I showed yesterday they are not the great excuses I’d like to believe they are. I am diabetic and it’s fairly important I eat on a consistent schedule. I have gastroparesis and I get sick if I get too hungry and have trouble telling when I’m “full.” But these are not really good excuses. There’s wiggle room for me to wait to eat until I’m hungrier and the easiest way to deal with the full issue is to set a reasonable portion then, if I’m hungry a half hour or so later, to eat a little more. About the best thing I could improve is not snacking between meals (unless I’m truly hungry) and not eating late at night. I know the program says that I will naturally lose weight without dieting once I’m happier and more fulfilled in my life, but there are also some habits that I just need to break. Again.
Well, tomorrow is another watch the video day and Friday is the famous wear red lipstick day. “I think you’ll see that this simple act will completely change your day.” No. I have no idea what I could do as a substitute on Friday. I’ve been doing very minimal make up over the summer so perhaps I could just go to a little more trouble and wearing what I think of as “full” makeup – which doesn’t include lipstick, sorry.
Speaking of eating when I’m hungry, I had a perfectly nice light lunch today of salmon, spinach and a nuked potato and I’m really very hungry – on the verge of nauseous. It’s too early for dinner but I have some veggies and olives I can snack on. And Zoe has been insisting that it’s time to eat for the past hour. Silly kitty.