#lmwlchallenge days 8 & 9

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.

Pema Chodron

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.

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9 thoughts on “#lmwlchallenge days 8 & 9”

  1. I love salmon! But I look terrible in red lipstick, even though red is a good color for me. After living with my husband’s cancer for 2 years, I love any part of my body that works. I am appreciative of small things like being able to walk to the bathroom, mow the lawn and keep active. Actually, some of those things are pretty big, aren’t they?

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  2. to the previous reader – yes they are pretty big. after having been physically sick for years I too am also very appreciative of my body parts that do continue to work for and hopefully to some extent are continuing to heal. I like the idea of loving our parts for what they do rather than loving the look of them. and the part about telling your stomach you are sorry for not loving it – genius.

    in terms of Friday instead of wearing lipstick can you wear a scarf that you like or a nice sweater or a piece of jewelry? anything that makes you feel good and special about how you are stepping out that day? and the suggestion is kind of like the pot calling the kettle black because I don’t have a clue as to what I’m going to do. just trying to put something out there in hopes that something which works for me will bounce back my way. cheers.

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  3. I agree with both of you. Appreciating our bodies, parts of bodies, that do the job they were designed for is a really big thing. When I was injured, the first thing I remember after waking up from surgery was the doctor saying, “I think we saved your leg.” I remember being fascinated by this – and being able to wiggle my toes – for days (or possibly longer) and everyone who came to see me got to watch me wiggle my toes and listen to how I didn’t lose my leg. Every step of my recovery, I spent time appreciating the things I could do again. When I could sit up by myself, get in the wheelchair by myself, get to the bathroom by myself… and omg, shower by myself. And when I finally took my first steps after almost 6 months, I think I cried. I swore that I would never take those things for granted again.

    But of course I did. You get used to being able to do things and be independent and gradually I forgot to appreciate the small things. Every once in a while, I think about it and no matter what else is hard or not even possible to do, I am truly grateful to be able to walk and be independent. Today’s exercise reminded me of that and also that there are so many other body parts involved in being independent. I may not like the way I look, I may have physical challenges, but I do need to keep appreciating all that I can do.

    I like your ideas Jacquie. I haven’t worn much jewelry in years, especially my more flashy earrings. No big angst there, just laziness. But some of them do make me feel special.

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  4. I’ve started following your blog — just in the last week or so — and am just speaking up to say hello. And to wish you good luck on this journey you’re on. I spent some time reading about the “Live More, Weigh Less” series and the comments S. Jenks (and you) received about the program. I related completely and totally to the sentiments of many that eating is a reward and a pleasure and an activity that brings some people great joy. (I think I paraphrased that accurately.) I have quite a number of bad eating habits, including one that you mentioned above: *ate overnight when I couldn’t sleep which is the major eating behavior I want to change.* This is a new one for me and I’m shocked at how strong the urge is sometimes. So I’m tagging along for the ride you’re on hoping to learn something new and (mostly) curious about how you do. It’s so odd about blogs: when I discovered Margaret’s blog Stargazer I found myself almost personally involved in her cancer journey, and now I feel personally involved in your quest. In your case, I think a lot about how hard it was for me to give up drinking a decade or so ago, when I realized that I was heading into dangerous territory with alcohol. It took me two years of stopping and starting before I succeeded, but I am hugely aware that you simply can’t compare cutting out alcohol with cutting BACK on food. I have two very good friends who society would say are overweight (well, in fact not just society — the scales prove it). We never, ever talk about their weight and I’m so curious about whether they are comfortable in their skins or not. Funny how you can be so close to someone but not address what I consider to be an important subject. (I’m babbling….will now stop. And since I don’t see a “preview” button I’m just going to hit “post” and hope this is coherent.)

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    1. Hi Pam and thank you for commenting. As a babbler myself, don’t worry about it. It makes sense to me.

      The urge to eat in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep is bizarre and overwhelming. And I seem to have virtually no impulse control when I’m tired and aching and not sleeping. It’s particularly hard for me to combat since I don’t “care” at that moment.

      In many ways, food addiction and alcohol addiction are very similar. Clearly there are differences but a lot of the principles and feelings are the same. Eating is maybe unique in the addictions in that you do have to continue to eat. Shopping is maybe similar? But then eating and shopping don’t have the same physical addiction as alcohol or drugs – some stimulation of the pleasure centers but still, not the same.

      I’d be interested to know what your friends feel about their weight. I am drawn to those who are truly comfortable in their skins no matter what size they are. I know a lot of thin people who aren’t comfortable with who they are and a few heavy people who are, it’s clearly not all about size.

      I love Margaret and her blog, too. 🙂

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  5. I didn’t tell my body that I loved it, mostly because it was a crazy day and I completely forgot about the challenge (I think I need to write the challenges on post-its, and take them down as I complete them or something). But I really like your approach to that challenge. I think I will take a bath tonight and do exactly what you did… because that seems like such a more meaningful & genuine approach.

    I did OK on the only eating when hungry challenge, because that’s something I’ve been working on already. My problem with it is that right now, while I’m still nursing my baby, I’m always hungry & my caloric intake is supposed to be higher to compensate for making milk. So I concentrated on only eating when hungry AND having healthier snacks prepped so that it was just as easy to choose veggies with a little ranch than grabbing a bag of potato chips or whatever. Because I do actually love munching on carrot sticks, and when I crave salt, I usually am craving popcorn… it’s just that potato chips are instant, and popcorn takes time to pop & season, or carrot sticks take time to wash, peel & chop… etc. I need to start rewarding my actual cravings, especially when I’m craving something good (or even good-ish) for me. I don’t think there is actually anything inherently wrong with eating potato chips, except when they become a default lazy-snack. I also tend to over-eat when I have a lazy-snack instead of whatever I’d been actually craving, because the lazy-snack doesn’t satisfy the urge.

    I’d intended to either wear a different lipstick on Friday (like a bright pink or purplish hue), but I’m still not excited about it. I thought about doing my nails special for the day, but I really like the shade they’re already painted and am impressed with myself that they haven’t chipped yet… I like the suggestion of wearing a piece of jewelry, accessory, or clothing item that makes you feel dressed up. I might actually see about wearing a dress or a skirt tomorrow. I haven’t been wearing much jewelry since I had my baby, so I might pull that out again and see what I can wear. Maybe something of my grandmothers. I really like the idea of wearing one of my gramma’s things for tomorrow’s challenge.

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    1. I think it’s really hard to step out of a routine that you’ve worked so hard to establish and I’m imagining that having a baby has totally screwed up your normal eating routine. I get the lazy snack thing, too. I often have protein cravings in the evening and if I don’t have easily prepared proteins around, I end up grazing on anything at hand.

      I’ve switched today and tomorrow as I’m going out today so wearing makeup and flashier earrings makes more sense today. I really like your idea of wearing something meaningful for you tomorrow.

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      1. I wasn’t able to find my jewelry box (a lot of our things are still packed in boxes, and I’m not a big jewelry wearer usually). But I did put in extra effort on my makeup for the red lipstick challenge day. I wore my favorite shade of lipstick (a purpley mauve) and I put on eyeliner.

        I didn’t think it would really do much for me, but it actually kind of did. It didn’t take that much extra time to do, but I felt much more “put together” at work. I haven’t done my eyeliner again, but I’ve started to keep a thing of lipgloss at work. I don’t know if this is going to be a lasting thing, because I don’t like how quickly lipstick fades and I really dislike how the “longwear” formulas feel… but it did give me a boost, and I think once in awhile I’ll put in the added effort.

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        1. I think it’s a good thing if you’ve found something that gives you a little boost. I think along the lines of your idea of creating our own challenges, I will work on finding out what my little boosts are.

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