Monday, July 28, 2008

Therapist.

I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon.

Will be very interesting to see how this goes and what I learn about myself.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

She's Back, Baybee!

1500 metre swim on Thursday.
3.5 mile walk on Saturday.

Wow, makes a huge difference walking along the beach bike trail, at sunset, and talking with my husband, instead of going round and round the courtyard or a city block. And, it was with only three rest stops of less than five minutes each time.

Other good news is that my intuitive eating group has helped me to see I'm ready to go see a therapist about the core reasons behind my eating disorder. I'm not through the abuse stuff from my past as much as I thought I was. Very obvious once I realised I've eating my way back up to feeling safe with a belly apron big enough to hide my crotch. But hey, at least I'm emotionally ready to delve deeper into it now. I called to leave a message, even though it's a weekend, with the therapist. Here's hoping she has room for me on her schedule.

Progress all round this week. {huge grin}

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Third Round of Gossip plus Necessities.

Sorry I took so long to get this next session up. As the questions are getting harder I'm having to think about the responses a little more, and the last week or so my thought processes have been kinda sluggish. More on that later. First up we have a question from Marshy:
When you read other people's blogs, how do you handle jealousy? Jealousy of people's acceptance of themselves, jealousy about their progress, etc.

Ha! Trust you to ask a tricksy one. Welllll, I could say that I handle it with aplomb. I could say that I feel the jealousy for two shakes of a lamb's tail and then move on, but since that's the rarest way I deal with it, that would almost be a lie. I usually pout. And when I say pout I mean tripping over my bottom lip kind of pouting.

While I'm pouting, I run the gamut of "Why aren't I popular with tonnes of readers?" to "What are they doing that makes them so popular? I'm just as funny, interesting, witty and lovable, aren't I?" to "I suck! If I don't even have what it takes to write a popular blog, how am I gonna sell novels?"

If I'm jealous about their progress, I even avoid the blogs in question for a few days(coughaweekormorecough). Logically, and on emotionally stable days, I feel happy for them and hope that I'll get as fit and healthy as them one day. I also recognise they have negative days and probably jealous of other people days too. We're all human. But most often I feel like I always did in school around the popular cliques. I wish I was as pretty/healthy as them/her. And at my most basic. . .Look at me! Pick Me! {laughs} Now I have that Moving Pictures song What About Me? in my head.

Although I don't have my super fit gymnast/swimmer body anymore, so I can't beat up the boys if they pick on me.

The jealousy CAN motivate me to try harder to get back my healthy and fit body too. Which most often leads to overexercising. So nowadays I stick to the pouting and temper tantrums. It's safer, and until today, none of you knew I did it.

Bugger!

Now that we've all become acquainted with my petty juvenile side, lets move on to the next question from Marshy:
When you started blogging, did you think it would lead to uncovering as much emotional 'baggage' (for want of a better word) as it has?

No. And I woulda blubbered like a baby if I knew how long this was gonna take. I would have said "Fuck you" to all the emotional benefits, then continued dieting and trying to focus only on physical fitness. Seems to me a little foreknowledge truly can be a dangerous thing.

And the last one from Lisa R:
What do you do that makes you feel great about your body or comfortable in your skin?

The number one things that make me feel fabulous in my body and comfortable in my skin is sex with my husband, when he tells me he loves me, or when he gives me compliments: Like this morning when I was in bed, with the covers shoved off because I was hot, I turned over on my back for Alaskaboy to lean down for his leaving for work kiss and hug. He said "I love you" as per usual, but then differed the routine in a way that left me feeling fabulous, but also helpless with giggles. He gave a quick, two handed, fake-massagge jiggle to my breasts, my belly, my crotch, my thighs and so on down to my little toes with an "and I love you, and you, and you," to each of those body parts as he went. All of that was unprompted and I hadn't been feeling down or anything for the last few days, so it wasn't in an effort to cheer me up either. He did it just because he felt like it. {melt}

BUT! I believe the question was what do I do to make me feel that way. Positive affirmations would have to be the biggest thing. (Positive affirmations while looking into a full length mirror while wearing nothing is even better.) Whenever I give myself a regular daily does of positive affirmations I feel, and act, fabulous. My confidence goes sky high and while I notice that I'm fat, it doesn't worry me. At that point it's all part of the sexy, womanly package.

You'd think with such amazing results that I'd jump out of bed and do them first thing every morning? And several times during the day for good measure! Sadly, no. I have to force myself in front of the mirror sometimes, especially if I haven't done them for weeks, and I don't always succeed. I'm working so hard to do this regularly because feeling womanly, without also feeling threatened, is the core of the two biggest issues I have.

Other things I do to make me feel fabulous are exercise, nothing like doing a personal best to appreciate what a magnificent machine our bodies are; Wearing clothes that suit me, and also fit properly; Getting a good hair cut or a massage; Getting the proper size bra, ahhh lift and support!; and last but certainly never least. . .good quality sleep, because when I'm overtired, ugh, I'm UUUUgly!

Now onto why I've been feeling so sluggish recently.

As you all probably know by now one way I'm very comfortable in my skin is when it comes to being more open about all bodily processes than a lot of people are comfortable with, so sorry if this squicks you out. (It's not graphic, I promise.) My most recent post talked about intuitive eating sometimes being counterproductive. Umm, no. It wasn't my intuition being counterproductive, it was my conscious mind ignoring my intuition which caused me to feel so fucked up. Usually I'm fine with my pre-period binges and tiredness. I understand that they're a part of my cycle. What I didn't understand, until this most recent cycle, is that I'm craving specific foods for a necessary reason.

Cheese, bread, salmon, lemon juice and Vegemite I covered. We had those in the cupboard. There was no chocolate other than natural process cocoa and without any milk there wasn't even a chance of a hot chocolate. B6 tablets we did have, but since I'm taking prenatal vitamins in preparation to eventually get pregnant, and didn't want to OD on it, I left the B6 in the cupboard.

The result? Worst PMS I've EVER had. EVER! And since I've been having my period for a little over two decades, that's saying something. Also, my period was weird. Normally I go straight into bleeding. This time I had two days of spotting. After the first day I gave in and took a B6 tab, but didn't take my prenatal. There was a brief show of blood, but then back to spotting. That, plus having had sore boobs and being bloated for the previous ten days, made me afraid I might be accidentally pregnant, so the next day I switched back to prenatal...again with the spotting.

By now, my period symptoms had all disappeared. No sore boobs, no cramping, no headache, no nothing. Just the FATIGUE. And a bit of indigestion, but I figured that was from eating too much at evening meals. I also didn't feel pregnant (if you've been pregnant you know what I mean) so I switched to the B6 again. Then I managed to get myself out of the house to buy a few books, plus grab some chocolate glazed donuts and a hot chocolate from Borders. And whaddya know? Within hours I had my period.

I've never had a period start like that before. But I've also never completely missed out on both chocolate and B6 during PMS either. So how about that. My intuition works just fine, as long as I listen to it. And to all those people who make jokes about chocolate and PMS...it's necessary, Okay! It wasn't until yesterday that I started feeling like myself again, rather than a sloth. If it's a choice between eating as much chocolate as I can stuff in my face, or feeling like shit for over a week, then bring on the chocolate.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Intuitiveness Is Sometimes Counterproductive

This last week I've had PMS. The kind of PMS where my body wants to do nothing but loll around in my pyjamas and stuff food in my face while simultaneously lingering on the edges of/ignoring/hating the world but pouting that nobody loves me.
It's almost like my body is pulling away slightly and focusing all of our attention on building up reserves for the first twenty four hours of bleeding where I want to do nothing but lay in bed swathed in hot water bottles, with no eating, just lying as still, and as heated in all the right spots, as possible.

As a result, I fill stiff, yet squishy, heavy, and BLAH! But also with no interest in doing anything. I look back at how I felt in the previous weeks and marvelled at all that as I was able to do in one day. . .you know like having a shower. Or getting dressed.

It doesn't help that we're due to do laundry but were too busy to get it done this weekend. So now I have to summon the energy to put on a pair of bike shorts, at least a size too small, a singlet (the only clean outfit I own) and to go and wash two weeks of laundry, including throws and cushion covers etc that are due to be washed. Did I also mention that I have to load the numerous bags/bins of clothes up on a hand dolly, lug it down one level on the elevator, pack it in the car, bring the hand truck back up, drive to the laundromat, lug it all in some how, load up the washers, wait, then dryers, then do it all in reverse?

And that's only one chore that NEEDS to be done today, when getting dressed is the equivalent of trekking the Kokoda Trail...in the pouring rain...with a full laden combat pack on my back.

Well, maybe not quite so extreme, but you get my drift. Any hints on overcoming the PMS Tireds?

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Oh! I forgot to tell you this.

We bought those armchairs the other week, and our old couch has sat in the lounge room ever since. It was a long, awkward to handle, four seater. We'd called up every charity organisation around and none of them picked up in our area nor wanted the couch. We could PAY to have someone come and take it away, but we were looking at half the original cost of the couch to do so.

No, thanks. And so the couch cluttered up the lounge room.

Last night, I'd had enough. We couldn't get hold of any of the neighbours to come and help, (oh maybe because we didn't get up the courage to ASK any!) and Alaskaboy couldn't do it himself. Too many stairs to get down to the footpath where it's okay to dump it.

Because I'd had the bright idea of putting it on the hand dolly if we could just get it out the door, he got the couch up on end and started kinda walking it out towards the front door. Half way there he got in front and tried to take some of the weight on his back and drag it. That didn't work so good.

So, I got on the rear end and grabbed hold and lifted it off the ground about ahalf a foot. Took two steps and had to put it down. Not because it was too heavy, but because my grip was wrong. Readjusting both of our grips we hoisted it off the ground, Alaskaboy about three feet and me only an inch or two, but it enabled him to move it that much quicker. In the thirty seconds or so it took us to get it out the hallway and through the door, my end was dragging on the ground, but I still was taking up enough of the weight that it made all the difference in getting it out there in less than twenty minutes. LOL

We slapped it on the dolly, tied it down, and guided it down the stairs. Again, me taking just enough weight at the rear to enable him to get down the stairs all that much easier.

Huge achievement for me, considering it wasn't that long ago that I could hardly hold up a large saucepan to wash it!

Extra bonus: gave me the confidence to go beyond the Initial Test phase of 100 pushups challenge. :D

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Mindful vs Mindless

Colour me shocked and stunned, people. Shocked and stunned! What a difference it made eating my meals today without reading. I had a tuna sandwich for breakfast. Lunch was a big bowl of cereal and milk...and it hit me after only a few spoonfuls too many that I was actually full. As opposed to finishing the bowl then going on for seconds and thirds. Snack was a bit of bread with some chilli con carne. And dinner was a chunky serve of vegetarian lasagne.

Today I ate easily only a third of what I've been eating recently. I may have some fruit or salad later if I'm hungry again, but then again, if I'm not, then I won't.

Mindless eating feels good because the taste buds are in heaven, but mindful eating feels good on a whole different level of great!

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Goss Sesh The Second.

Previously:
Goss Session 1
During our our last session I covered some easy questions, and here's another one from FLG:
You've probably posted about this before, but what do you miss about Aussie?

I'm glad you asked this, because what I miss is mostly similar, but not quite the same as what I've mentioned before. How I miss things is also very different. I miss the foods that are impossible to get here; a certain brand of runners, meats, Lebanese/Turkish foods, real souvlakis, the seafood, breads, cheeses, the tropical fruit, the wines, beers, ice cream, flavours of things that are different to here i.e. soft drinks, chips and chocolate. On the other hand, during the last trip home I missed certain foods that I can only get here.

I don't miss the hay fever that's for sure!

I miss my family and friends, but I also miss my family and friends that are here. I have come to love that going to visit anyone is both a treat and a vacation. And going to visit my parents' house is certainly a treat. I adore their house and how they've fixed up both the house and the yard. Would LOVE a home like that...but here.

Having three years between visits, and it now being five years since I left, the changes that have taken place in once familiar areas really struck me. In some ways it was unsettling how much some things and some people have changed.

The major part of that is how I felt in my parents' house. It's Home, but it's not my home. The bed I left there is still in my old room, but it's not my room or my bed any more. The contents of the pantry are set up completely for Their tastes and lifestyle. Anything I wanted to cook, I had to go buy at least one, if not all, of the ingredients. Slowly, yet surely it's become Mum and Dad's home. Completely theirs with no children to share the space with on a regular basis. It's like whenever we'd stayed at Nan's or relatives' places when we were younger. We'd love being there and we'd feel right at home, but it wasn't Home.

Same with the roads, the shops, the clothes, the tourist attractions, pretty much everywhere had altered enough that nothing was completely the same any more. Which made me realise I wasn't the same anymore either. Funnily enough, I also noticed how many products are actually American. Definitely more American products than there were before, or at least more that I was aware of their American origins.

I miss my dog, Scruffy, but like the other people I miss, it's not with that all consuming ache of Not Rightness; We Should Be Together In The Same House. She's still my dog, but in so many ways she's Mum and Dad's now. And Nan's. They interact with her on a daily basis, they feed, vet, walk and take care of her. Not always in the ways I would, but I'm not there any more. Scruffy even interacted with me a little differently to last time as well, didn't dog my every step or sleep with me every night we were in the same house. So I'm not the only one who knows that she's part of their pack now, and I'm just a member that visits occasionally.

All of that has been very freeing in so many ways and has helped with learning to Let Go. While there I enjoyed myself, enjoyed reconnecting with everyone, the hugs the family dinners together, having my in-laws and family all together was fabulous, with often the niggles that big families have when all piled in to the same house for a month! LOL I enjoyed myself, but I missed my life here in L.A. because it's just that, mine and what I've made of it.

Wow, rambled on a bit there. On to the next question. From Lisa:
How's the intuitive eating going?

Some days, really well. Other days, not so crash hot. Lately I've been doing a lot of reading. Reading not just for pleasure but also studying the way different authors put their stories together, the way different genres have different styles. Trying to finds words, plot points and archetypes unique to each genre. It's been very enlightening.

But!

When I eat, I read. When I read, I eat. And with all of this reading I've been doing, I've been doing a whole lot of eating. Knowing I was full, but going back for another bowl of popcorn. Knowing I was actually full to the point of hurting, but eating something else anyway. Over the 4th of July long weekend, Alaskaboy and I recognised I have a habit I need to break. I'm using the reading to justify the eating, and the eating to justify the reading.

Before we went to the 4th of July party that a workmate of Alaskaboy's was holding, I ate two tuna salad sandwiches with some sauerkraut on the side and some garden salad. I was a little too full, but I'd been awake for several hours and hadn't eaten until then. There was also uncertainty about whether I'd be able to eat anything else at the party other than the apple pie we'd made to bring along, and it would be a long party!

Feeling comfortably full and completely satisfied when we got there, I jumped straight in the pool while Alaskaboy went and mingled. I was in the pool for over two hours before I was hungry enough to get out. This included swimming, frolicking, plus tossing kids around. Alaskaboy and I also tossed each other about. LOL

Guests had been told to bring appetizers or desserts, with the mains being catered by the guy who threw the party. Hot dogs, hamburgers, tacos, shave ice etc. I got an all beef hot dog and some Hawaiian Shave Ice: kiddy cone sized in pineapple, mango and passionfruit for me, and Tiger's Blood for Alaskaboy. (I loathe Tiger's Blood is weirdly salty and almost reminiscent of Medicinal Cherry the way the flavours mingle. Blech.)

I love Hawaiian Shave Ice, and only get it once in a blue moon, but I stopped halfway through my cone. Not only was I replete, but I didn't want any more of it. I'd had my fill of slushy, fruity ice creamy goodness, so I stopped. Then I got back in the pool for another hour and a half.

Again, when I was hungry, I got out and had some food. Got some water melon, apple pie, beef tacos (soft mini ones) and a sweet corn tamale. Everything but the tacos I shared with Alaskaboy. And again stopped when I was full.

Watching other women eat that I was conversing with was an eye opener! One woman in particular ate, spoke and moved exactly how I used to. The invitation said 'bring your appetite', so she rocked up starving, and proceeded to eat until she felt ill, then ate some more, and tried to palm the remainder off on her family. She was also fixated on the food, and making sure she got everything she wanted. She splashed around a bit in the pool, but she was really focused on her husband and needed to know where he was the whole time. She got visibly jealous when other women, even married friends of hers, gathered around to talk to him. (I was 'safe' though because I was fat.) She was hurt that one guy hadn't spoken to her yet...but she hadn't said hello to him either. It really reinforced how far I've come in terms of self esteem and getting away from the diet mentality. God, I could practically SEE her thought processes going on and knew I'd had the same ones before.

We had such a great time that we were one of the last couples to leave, and then over the rest of the weekend I ate myself into a stupor both days. I believe it was partly because I was a little scared at realising how far I've come, and shocked at just how obvious a low self esteem actually is to those who know how to look for it. God all those times I thought I was being subtle in my jealousy, sticking close to Alaskaboy, or putting myself down! {shudder}

Since I've been reading so much recently I've actually put on about ten pounds the last month or so, even with all the exercise I've been doing. Last night, I recognised that I was eating ramen noodles for some comfort. I was hungry enough for one packet, but I had two. As I was cooking it, I had a conversation with myself, and it went something like this.

You know you're back up to the same weight you were two years ago?
Yes.
You're aware of how you and your body felt while eating like you did today and yesterday and Saturday--compared to how you felt when eating mostly intuitively on Friday.
Yes.
You're aware that you're getting this second packet as a comfort binge.
Yes.
You know we're going to have to completely separate eating and reading for awhile until we break the compulsion.
Yes. It's gonna suck, but yes.
Do you know there's only five months left in this year?
Oh fuck! really?
And you want to be pregnant by the end of the year don't you?
Yes.
So, enough with this shit already.
Can I at lest have my noodles?
Yes.
I promise this is the last lot of mindless eating I'll do.
I believe you.
You do?
Yes.
Furthermore, I promise to start doing my daily pages from The Artist's Way.
Good. Writing down you thoughts with no audience will help you be even more honest with yourself.
What guarantees are you prepared to offer me?
None.
What?
There are no guarantees. You'll do the best you can, live your life as you see fit, and continue on down that self discovery road that you've been walking along.
Oh.

And then it hit me. Yesterday's binge, and my current binge, was over and done with. It was time to let them go. So, I did.

This morning, I got up and started this post. I ate a sandwich about three quarters of the way through when I got hungry. I did gravitate to the computer and read some blogs as I finished the last half of the sandwich...but I made it through the first half without reading anything. Rolling leads to crawling leads to toddling leads to walking leads to running.

Sometimes regression happens, but progress and change still occur. How's my intuitive eating going? I'm doing it to the best of my ability each and every day.
Have I used up all my questions?

Nope. You still have one more to go!


P.S. Thanks to FLG for the code for the insert. :)

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Goss Sesh 1

I'm typing this with wobbly arms after completing the Initial Test of the Hundred Push Ups Challenge. My ultimate challenge goal is to work from wall push ups all the way up through the various types of push ups to full push ups. Will be interesting to see how long it takes.

Aaanyway, on to the goss.

First up, an easy question to answer from Cmae:

What's tim tam? I suppose I could look it up, but I'd rather hear it from the P*I*M*P.

Forget diamonds, Tim Tams are a girl's best friend. These little beauties are also a chocolate cookie lover's wet dream. Chocolate cream lovingly sandwiched by two chocolate malted cookies, all tightly group-hugged by a layer of textured chocolate.

I found this artistically arranged love nest of Tim Tams, providing a scrumptious cross-sectioned view of two of them. Doesn't that make you want to dive head first into the screen? If so, Wikipedia has a page detailing where they can be found in several countries around the world.

Find them. Try them. Love them, and me for introducing the pair of you, for life.

Now, onto some of Lisa R's questions:
LOVE your blog. I hope you continue to write. My questions are around writing. . . What genre do you write? Do you have anything published on the web that we can read? DO any of your writings feature food? Have I used up all my questions??

Thanks, Lisa! Nice to meet you. I do intend to continue writing, especially now that I'm aware that it's LSED whispering at me whenever I consider quitting. The main reason I don't think I would voluntarily stop, no matter how often LSED mutters in my ear, is because I adore it. Writing is something that's on both my Need and Want lists.

In school I always got high marks in English, especially for creativity in story writing. During Year 12, I even submitted a poetry series for one of my assessment pieces. Poetry is where I first gained confidence as a writer. But, poetry is even harder to earn a living doing than story writing, so I keep that as an artistic endeavour for enjoyment only. Several examples in relation to food and IE are dotted throughout this blog.(This little ditty is even about Tim Tams, Cmae! LOL)

I don't usually put up any more than snippets of my work anywhere online, as most publishers frown on this. (Since they're buying first publication rights, why should they spend the money to purchase any work that is already fully available online, for free?) Even for an online anthropomorphic short story contest I entered, and won, I selected the option to have my story removed from their website once the judging period was over. I'm trying to earn a living at this so would like to avoid shooting myself in the foot before any publisher does choose to purchase my work. It's part of protecting my copyright to those works as well.

Once I get my author blog up and running there'll be snippets on offer though, so stay tuned for that. :)

My poetry tends to cover all of the genres I write for my other short stories or novels. Funny about that. I prefer writing fantasy and science fiction, but much to my surprise have recently started a paranormal romance novel. Within the scope of the SF/F genres I have written a couple of humorous pieces, and even one snuff short story based on Tom Jones' song "Delilah".

Almost all of my stories have food in them, described lavishly of course. One piece Curdish Capers was completely about cheese.


Here's a food snippet, of sorts, from my as-yet-unpublished novel Serenade

Swallowing convulsively wasn't helping matters, but his body carried on doing it anyway. Squinching his eyes shut tight made matter worse, as did staring out the window. They'd assured him he'd get used to it as time went by. They were still mouthing reassurances to his face but they rang a little hollow these days.

“Ye addle-brained twit, eat the damned crackers and be done with't.”

“Urk,” was the only response he could give.

“Are ye wantin' more o' that brew yer so fond of then?”

Ghyrell glared at his tormentor's delight. Holding out a trembling hand he accepted a thin rectangular bread and bit into it savagely. Perhaps if he got it down quick enough his belly wouldn't notice. Chew as he might his dessicated mouth couldn't bring the crumbly mass to a point where he could swallow even the first bite. A sigh burst forth spraying crumbs upon his blanketed lap and he reached for the wretched tea. He shouldn't complain, after all it had been a goodly part of keeping him alive this past week, yet he was heartily sick of gingery sugar water. Even the gingered fish broth had long ago lost its appeal.

Swishing the tepid fluid around his mouth he heartily wished he could go back to those first few glorious days on the ship when he'd enjoyed the stiff breeze in his face as he stood in the bow of the ship. The salty tang on his lips, the beautiful curve of the sails belling above, and the sun shining on his face, oh what bliss it had been. Three days out and the chop had increased enough that his joy disappeared faster than the evening rum ration from the bosun's cup. A mild (according to the crew) storm that had occurred two days ago had him wishing his stomach would just pour itself out of his mouth and be done with it.

“Ye know? I think ye mebbe fading t' yellow. Yup! Decidedly less green than ye've been fer days.”

A few more mouthfuls and another couple of crackers and Ghyrell felt like he might like to get out of his bunk. Muse help me, I might even make it outside. What do they call it? Up on deck? That's it! “Would it be a bother if I went up on deck?”

“Nah, tis nae bother 't all.” Capitan Frezik crossed the cabin in a few easy strides, opened the door and hollered out into the corridor, “Poigus, git yerself here 'n help t'Bard on deck!”

The cabin boy, seemingly all knees and elbows, clattered into the cabin and grinned impishly at Ghyrell. “Toldja Mam's crackers'd set ye to rights.” A cuff about the head from his Uncle Frezik didn't dim the irrepressible twinkle in his chocolate brown eyes in the slightest.


This is already getting pretty long, so I'll cover some more questions tomorrow.

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Anniversary.

It's 232 years since the adoption of the Declaration of Independence for the United States of America and 2 years since I declared my own freedom from the tyranny of dieting.


Looking back on it, this post was when I started down the road to owning myself. Several weeks after I'd made the decision to Overcome my Overeating. Yes, I continued with a food diary and calculating fats and calories at that point. I was still learning about my body and how much it wanted. Plus I didn't really trust my self or my body to know what it was doing, so continued using the tools I did know how to use. Baby steps are a good thing.

Happy Anniversary to us! We've both come a long way since then.

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