Monday, July 29, 2013

Shining some light on what's going on with me (152.2)

I haven't written anything meaningful about myself for quite a while. There are a lot of excuses I could list, but if I'm being honest the real reason is that I don't feel good about my food.  And that's what this post is going to be--an attempt to honestly write about what's going on with me. 

It's not pretty, and it's a rehash of where I've been before. But when I finally write about these things is when I usually turn a corner.  So here goes.

I'm still not eating desserts or anything else on my trigger food/binge list.  And I'm still not eating between meals during the day. 

But the quality of my food is very poor; I am in the rut of convenience foods.  And I am eating too much at night, which has always been the hardest thing for me to change.  

I am not eating in the middle of the night, thank goodness, but I have been eating before bed when I'm not hungry and just want the feel of food in my body.

I am also not running or doing any other kind of exercise.

I am also not working my steps in OA, although I still go to meetings every week and talk to my sponsor regularly. 

I've gained a couple of pounds.  Instead of hovering around 150, I now hover around 152.  It's not a lot, but it's a warning sign.

I have always been a starter, not a finisher.  I'm sure you know what I mean when I say that.  I get half way through something, and peter out before I'm finished, which results in unfinished "clutter" in my life.

I'm in a LIFE plateau, not a weight plateau--my desire to change equals my desire to stay the same.

The past few months have been hard on us financially, and frankly the fear and worry around that takes up a lot of space in my head. 

I tend to shut down and isolate when I am filled with worry.  That includes not blogging or reading other blogs.

I also go back and forth between worry and giving the worry away to God.  Unfortunately I take back the worry all the time, so I spend a lot of energy giving it away and then taking it back again.

And I look at all the things I think I am doing wrong, instead of looking at what I am doing right, and become discouraged and disappointed.

What is crystal clear is that when my food isn't what it needs to be, nothing else is either.

One OA saying goes like this: Abstinence is the number one priority in my life.  Anything I put before it I will lose anyway. 

Sloppy abstinence, which is what I call what I'm doing now, means sloppy life.

Summer and lack of routine is always hard for me.  I know this.  This summer has been really hard because the kids have not been in one consistent camp, but have been in many different ones.  My mom has helped watch them a lot so we could save money (it would have cost $2500 to keep them both in camps all summer).  My mom watching them is a whole other layer of crazy in my life.  I have learned a lesson, though, and next summer I have to figure something else out.

School starts on August 14.  I am not saying it will all magically get better then--there will always be something.  I am saying that the routine and normalcy of school will help all of us.

I am in a valley.  I feel like I've hit the bottom of the valley and am ready to climb out. 

I am not in a pit of despair by any means.  Which is a good thing--my low is a higher low than it has been in the past.  I am not flailing and hopeless. I am aware that I have changes to make, and I know what to do and where to get help.  I will start doing it again.

And the first thing I have to do is go back to step one:  I am powerless over food and my life has become unmanageable. And then on to step two: I believe a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. 

I feel better after writing all this and shining some light on it.  Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Progress or Procrastination devotional (150.6)

I loved this devotional today & thought I'd share.

Progress or Procrastination?

July 22, 2013

Progress or Procrastination?

Lisa Allen

"If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done!" Ecclesiastes 11:4 (LB)

Unhealthy habits had crept their way into my life. At first it was only occasionally, but then it became easier to stay home rather than head to the gym. I turned a blind eye to how much sugar I was eating. And dinner from a drive-through became more convenient when I was in a rush.

After a few months in this downward spiral, I knew it was time to reintroduce healthy habits. But then the excuses started: I know I should work out, but this just isn't a good time for me ... I have two trips coming up and then there's that birthday dinner for my friend this weekend. And everyone knows that Mondays are the best day to start a good habit!

This pattern of thinking gives me permission to eat unhealthy foods and put off exercise. Somehow I justify that I will ultimately be more successful if all the conditions are perfect for me to improve my health. Perhaps it's my selfish nature that screams, "I want what I want when I want it." The truth is, if I know I should take steps toward healthier choices, then my response should simply be to ask myself, "What can I do today?" and then do it. I don't have to have a plan for a month or even a week ... only today.

As I've observed this pattern of procrastination within myself, I find when faced with a desire and necessity to make a change for the better, sometimes I wait until I can do it perfectly before I'm willing to begin. Scripture tells us though "If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done!" (Ecclesiastes 11:4).

I don't know about you, but I struggle with feeling that perfection is unreachable, so I push my goals to the back burner.

We wait to start consistent quiet times until we feel like getting up earlier. We wait to clean our house until there is a convenient weekend. We wait to join a small group until our schedules open up. We wait to begin a healthier lifestyle until the holidays are over.

Taking that first step is the hardest and yet most important step. Even a baby step toward a goal is better than staying in place. Aiming for progress rather than perfection can be quite freeing. So, I can't run a marathon. But I can lace up my sneakers and go for a walk. And while my home isn't in spotless, I can wipe down the counters and put away the piles of laundry around my living room. Yes, there are still dishes in the sink, but I have to start somewhere, right?

God is teaching me that I can make progress in the midst of less-than-perfect circumstances. While I still want to do things with excellence, a friend once told me I need to be willing to "take a B instead of an A+" on some things in life, and that helps bring perspective when excuses start to rise up. Plus, I'm learning to overcome my tendency for excuses by telling myself imperfect action is better than perfect procrastination.

There may never be a perfect time to get organized, eat less sugar, and workout more. However, we have to begin somewhere. The perfect place to start is where we are today.

Father, You know me so well, and I confess to You I've been avoiding obedience by waiting for things to be easier, better and more convenient. I recognize this as disobedience and ask You to forgive me. Give me the strength to focus today on this area of obedience. Let me know that You are providing all I need to take this step today and tomorrow, as I continue this journey with You. Amen.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gasland (151.6)

I don't like "soap box" updates, but I feel I need to share this today because it's taking up too much space in my brain and I need to purge it. If you don't read anymore, I understand. This isn't a happy, feel good update.

I watched Gasland 2 last night. It's a documentary about fracking. Natural gas is being sold to us as the solution to energy dependency. The oil companies and government say the process of extracting natural gas from shale oil deposits is safe. They say burning natural gas is better for the planet than coal or oil. They say it's going to be more affordable in the future as oil becomes more scarce. According to the documentary, we are being fed a pack of lies.

This is a relatively new industry. Most of us know nothing about it, other than what we're told by BP & other oil companies on TV commercials and by our government (as in the President's 2nd inaugural address, which praised natural gas as our energy savior).

I am sick this morning thinking about how devastating widespread fracking will be for the people living among the fracking wells and for the planet as a whole. People living among shale oil plains already have suffered health problems from the neurotoxins released into the air & water. A whole town in Pennsylvania has had no water for years because their entire aquifer is poisoned. The water that comes out of their faucets can be lit on fire because of the methane in the water.

Why is this allowed to happen? Because the natural gas industry is exempt from the clean water act. They don't have to report the chemicals they put in water to extract the gas. They take no responsibility, and no one, not even the EPA, can make them. (Several years ago the EPA had done research proving chemicals used in fracking were in drinking water, and they were trying to clean up the mess. But after the President was reelected, the EPA was made to toe the policy line and essentially became impotent. Soon after, the EPA director, who was making headway in doing her job and exposing the significant environmental risks, resigned.)

I would say that everyone should educate themselves so people can "say no" to natural gas, but people living on the shale plains have said no for years, and it makes no difference. Part of me wishes I'd never seen the damn documentary. Part of me feels it's my responsibility to share it with everyone I know, so that maybe, maybe, if enough people are aware of the dangers, fracking can be stopped. But mostly I feel disgusted and helpless and scared that we are witnessing the beginning of another Dust Bowl, but on a much grander scale--the greatest ecological disaster the world has ever seen.   *** Still busy. Totally fried. Taking tomorrow off work.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Busy (150.8)

I am ridiculously busy, at work and at home.  Every weekend in July has some activity, and August is filling up too. 

I am trying to keep it together, take it one day at a time, and not be overwhelmed by what I need to do.  But it's hard. 

So I'm not posting much today.  I just wanted to check in. 

I'm still going to my OA meetings on Monday night.  I'm still abstinent.  Last night I got my 9 month chip.  I cannot believe it's been 9 months already.

In the midst of all the chaos of my life, I'm thankful I am not eating my way through it.