a good reminder

As I consider last week’s goals, I thought this art piece was a good reminder. I have this pinned up beside my bed and I try to read it to myself before sleep.

ant river

Sketches in Stillness

Goals from last week

  • Decrease distractions during meals by only having a video going. No doing several other things at the same time.
  • Write down what I eat and when, without judgment, calorie counting, weighing and measuring, etc. This is only for observation.
  • Pay attention when I’m eating. Slow down. Savor.
  • I was really moved by the Unapologetic Posse. It seems like that website is not being updated but I am still going to grab the assignment to stop the fat talk. “Can you go a day without talking about your weight or using deprecating language in reference to your body?” I have this almost constant voice in my head telling me how fat and ugly I am and I’d really like to silence that voice. I think this will be an ongoing challenge for me. One day at a time.
  • Start going through my closet and culling out what I’m not going to wear again.
  • Pick something creative to do. Look upstairs and see what is in Mom’s closet. Sort through the recipes I have that I want to try. I particularly want to make soups and stews to freeze so perhaps pick one of them to try this week.

Well, it turned out to be harder to decrease distractions than I thought it would be. The first couple days went okay and then I’d find myself only noticing after a meal that I had something streaming and was answering email or writing a post or doing a puzzle or playing cards… That is such a habit. I also found, however, that I ate more slowly when I was doing something else – which is probably a good thing. But I paid less attention to what I was eating which means I wasn’t exactly savoring what I was eating or paying attention to whether I was full or not.

I got confused and missed part of a day writing stuff down and then I got sick and was grazing more, whenever I felt like eating. When I was writing stuff down, I did okay not judging myself. Much. The judgment came back when I lapsed writing food down. I did learn something I feel is important. I’ve known that I ate from boredom and frustration at not sleeping, but I also noticed that I tended to experience really sudden and unwarranted depression when not sleeping and then had a “what the hell” attitude toward eating. It’s hard to battle those feelings in the middle of the night so I have some thinking and experimenting to do.

My first behavioral goal went much better than I expected. Whenever the litany of how fat and ugly I am popped into my head, I was able to stop and remind myself that I wasn’t going to think that. Ask me whether that is what I still believe, well yes. But it still feels better to not be constantly beating myself up.

I forgot about my goal to get started on my closet. My plan switched to cleaning out the freezer room and defrosting the freezer – and then that got pushed over to be sick instead. I did get some of the cleaning done before then and bombed the garage and storeroom for spiders.

My creative thing for the week was to make beef tagine with butternut squash. I think it would be a bit of a cop-out for my creative goal to always been a cooking thing, but I do also want to continue my cooking goals and exploring new ideas.

Because I don’t want to try to change too many things at once, I am going to continue these same goals for another week. Problem areas, like writing food down and decreasing distractions may need more attention or possibly be reconsidered. I want to find something creative to do other than cooking and/or get out of the house for something other than errands.

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6 thoughts on “a good reminder”

  1. Great thoughts and I love the quote. I sometimes beat up on myself and need to quit. It’s hard enough to get through life without being my own worst enemy!

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    1. Yes it is. I find it hard to balance the need to be perfect and the tendency to give up if I’m not. That’s part of the reason that I’m repeating last week’s goals. Give me a couple weeks or so to get a handle on the things I’m trying to accomplish and then I hope to start adding some more specific goals.

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  2. I have also had a couple of lapses in writing things down, and similarly, I have experienced guilt/self-judgement over that. I do feel it’s a success, though, that I haven’t been judging what I’ve been eating either. My other goal for last week was going through my closet and figuring out a loose plan for what I want to replace & other items that I feel would be good for my wardrobe. That way, when I’m out and I see something on a really good sale, or something with a great price at a thrift store, I can either chose to buy it or remind myself I don’t need it. Sometimes I get so excited about finding clothes I can afford that I forget I don’t particularly *need* that specific item of clothing. Thus, an out of balance wardrobe… with a few too many things that I don’t feel that great in. Those were my only goals for last week, and I did pretty OK. I’ve decided to carry them over into this week, though, because there’s still work to be done.

    I didn’t get to do an adventure last week. It was too hectic and my husband got sick, so I was mostly just trying to keep the baby and myself away from germs. But, I did identify several projects I would like to try to tackle for “adventures” in the coming weeks. For this month, a lot of them have to do with Halloween. 🙂 I mowed the lawn all by myself yesterday, which is a bigger feat than it sounds. Usually this is something that takes a huge (often crippling) toll on my body. But I was able to do it, and I felt actually really good (if not very tired) afterwards. It wasn’t the adventure I had planed for this week, but I’m counting it!

    I like your goal of stopping the fat talk. I am working on this as well, because I don’t want my kid to pick up on the negative self-judgement spiral I’ve got. While you might not have changed your opinion of yourself, once you get further into the process maybe instead of just stopping the thoughts, you could add in an, “No, I’m not giving fuel to those thoughts. Also, I am very grateful for my ___ today because ___.” This is, at least, what I am working on. Yesterday I was super thankful to my back and hips for mowing the lawn and not giving out. They allowed me to take on a chore for my sick husband, and I was still able to take care of our baby afterwards. It felt nothing short of a miracle to have that kind of mobility and energy again. It might not last, but man. It’s a huge thing for me.

    I think I’m going to print out the art you’ve included in this post & put it up in my cubicle. I really love it, and it reminds me of this comic strip: http://countyoursheep.keenspot.com/d/20040204.html

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  3. I really like your follow up to the fat-talk stopping. I don’t like affirmations that I don’t really believe in – but I felt good about that exercise we did where we thanked the different parts of our body. I could totally use that.

    I’m also interested in your planned Halloween adventures. 🙂 We are pretty isolated on a dark road with a really, really steep drive – so we get no kids here. I suspect my goal this year ought to be to not buy any Halloween candy – except a bag or two for the nursing home party.

    Love the comic! I feel that way a lot of the time. When people ask me how I am online I typically either say “I’m still alive!” or “I didn’t kill anyone today!” I think both are positives.

    Good luck to you in taking care of sick husband and baby – and you! I hope you and the baby don’t get sick. And congratulations on mowing the lawn. That is my very least favorite chore and I have always paid for it to be done whenever possible. Even before I had an excuse.

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    1. It’s actually your twist on that challenge that made something click for me! I hate affirmations too, because I can’t lie to myself. I’m never going to fall for it because that’s not who I am. But I can nurture appreciation. I can appreciate myself and my body for who I am and what my body can do. And if I can nurture that, someday that might turn into love. I may never think that I am attractive, but I might be able to find all kinds of ways to appreciate (and love) myself, and in that way find my body a beautiful thing. That distinction is one I hadn’t really thought about before, but it was such a freeing realization. I really have you to thank for spurring on that train of thought.

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      1. And I have you to thank. I was just having one of those middle of the night despair moments and the ugly thoughts snuck in and the best I could think of was “So what?” Nurturing appreciation is a very good way of putting it. I may never feel attractive but I appreciate my body because it allows me to be independent, even on the rough pain days I can take care of myself and do the things that need to be done. And that in itself is a good reason to take better care of my body and health. There are other things to appreciate and they will come in time.

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