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The 5 Minute Weight Loss Plan

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So, I was driving around with my son in the car the other day–taking the seventeen year old who STILL hasn’t got his licence to school or to rehearsal to work or to a friend’s place.

And I was speaking very LOUDLY about how I just didn’t have time for this, and how, with his father working nights now, all the driving was now on me. (I had just taken his brother to work. I was going to have to turn around and pick him up from work right after I’d run to the library and then pick up this son and take him somewhere else. It was all just TOO MUCH. Just when in hell was I supposed to get a work out in?)

As I drove away after dropping him off wherever, still fuming and feeling sorry for myself, it occurred to me that I was lying to myself. I had plenty of time. I just didn’t want to be spending it in a freezing cold car chauffeuring my children. But I really did feel out of time.

I’d taken the week off work to think, plan, set goals and do our taxes. None of it had got done. Without structure, my days had drifted into late night aimless writing excursions and really late mornings. The cold had zapped all my plans to get set up for my year with shopping for workout wear and had put the kibosh on all ambitions to walk the trails in the city.

What I lacked was not time….I had that in spades.

What I lacked was structure. And it was stressing me out.

Our very first habit in PN is to take a five minute action towards change. That’s all. Anything will do. It really doesn’t matter. Just doing something new in the direction you want to go prepares you, gets you ready for change.

So, in the spirit of stress-free living, my five minute habit is to simply to plan my day. To insert some structure, to lessen the stress of drifting aimlessly through my life–with all the frustration that brings, formerly assuaged with cigarettes and now food.

So, that’s how we lose weight. By decreasing stress. By planning.

Just five minutes. Every day.

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On Repeat

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I’ve enrolled in Precision Nutrition’s Coaching Program for 2018 as I mentioned I would. I am so excited to begin.

But why? Why would I want to take the same program over again?

  1. I learned so much about myself. I learned I am resilient. That I’m strong. I discovered that I love to walk outside on our city’s river valley trails. It brings me such joy. I can’t believe I’ve lived here over 20 years and never ventured down. What else will I discover that I love? I learned I like rules–and I want to continue to explore how I might make rules work for me, instead of against me.
  2. Somehow, too, I learned I have allowed my life to become very small. It’s OK. I didn’t really know any better. I certainly never believed my life could be bigger, fuller, richer. PN has taught me to dream big.

And so, this year….

At the end of my year with PN Coaching (and throughout, too, of course) I want to be living a life designed for positive growth, good health, and great relationships. I am going to take this year to do that as best I can.

At the end of my year, I want to be well-practiced in living at the edge of discomfort—deliberately going there to grow.

I am going to focus on losing weight. In one way, I don’t care how much I weigh. The specific number doesn’t matter. But in order for me to move well and be fully functional, I need to carry less weight on my frame. Or, rather, less fat. I’d like to lose 90 pounds, but I’ll reassess at 50. Eating well, recovering well from stress, and moving with purpose and joy (and maybe other things?) are the means to this end—–so how I treat my body this year will be a good indication of how I am treating my self.

At the end of my year I want to have more friends. Of all kinds. I want to build relationships with people….and preferably people I can touch!  I want to deepen my relationships with my husband and kids, too, as we go through a very difficult time.

Everything in my life right now, in a sense, is in a state of change–or about to be—so that focusing on my values this year will be essential—I do not want to end up with a life I don’t want! (Been there, done that. No more.) A lot of it is not in my control, of course, but I want to make sure my actions are in line with my values. And that means that throughout the year I will continue to discover and articulate them.

In short, I want to harness the power of PN, the lessons, the habits, the focus on growth and change, the coaching and support—for my whole life.

What do I want to achieve?

A Journey of self-discovery and re-creation through action.

The December Report

A terrific month. No, really.

Stats:

December 1:

  • weight: 237.0 (-3.2 lbs)
  • waist: 45 3/4″
  • hip: 52 1/2″

 

January 1:

  • weight 230.0 (-7 lbs)
  • waist: 43 1/4″
  • hip: 51 1/4″

Workouts:

I exercised 22 days out of 31–including a half hour walk at minus 24 (Celsius). I have discovered that I absolutely love walking outside on the trails we have in our city’s river valley. There are miles and miles of them–and walking in the sunshine brings me such joy. It was tough during December–the sun goes down before 4:15 pm on the shortest day of the year–but you can bet I made a point of getting out for my walk at least once a week–and especially on the solstice!

Habits:

I continued with the food log I’d started in November. It’s been an amazing little tool. At first I kept it just to keep me accountable for what I ate. Studies have shown that for most people simply recording what they eat results in their making better choices about what to eat. After bout  week, I set a goal to eat five servings of fruit and veg a day. Aiming for a palm sized serving of protein at each meal was next. But then I started getting curious about how long I could go between meals. So, I started writing down what time I ate. I started noticing that my breakfast of veggies and 2 medium eggs (but only one yolk), sometimes supplemented with spinach or feta or both, and toast and coffee keeps me satiated for a long time. I often debated whether to eat my snack at work.

According to my food log, I started the month eating cookies and ice cream. Yes, really. I even had an encounter with some mini-Wunderbars — I forget why — but I ate 11 of them in one go one night. That has not happened since. But I still use food to cope with stress. There just wasn’t a lot of stress this month–well, not a lot compared to other months!

Finding and practicing on other ways to cope with stress will be one of my goals this year.

As for January–PN Coaching starts up again soon. I am quite excited to continue–I’ve built some fabulous momentum. But there’s still so much to do! I’m a bit overwhelmed with it all, to be honest.

Exercise is a huge chunk of time out of my day–and week! I am not reading as much as I used to–I’m not blogging–and I’ve pretty much ignored my house to make it happen. One of the reasons I enjoyed Christmas so much this year is because it forced me to clean up and tidy the house–and keep things clean and tidy for about 10 days straight.

I want to continue to build on my mad food skillz. I signed up for Darya Rose’s cooking course today ’cause I want the flexibility of cooking without recipes. (I also realized recently that I need a creative outlet, so we’ll see if this will do it for me.)

Our first habit will be to eat slowly. I want to put away my computer and throw myself into this one, again. In fact, with all the habits, I want to be sure I practice them as deeply as I can. Now that I’ve been through the program once and I have seen how all the pieces work together, I feel I can relax and just focus. I intend to take that approach with all the habits as they come around again this year.

My involvement with the P.N. program meant that this entire year–no matter what happened (and a lot happened!)– was all about growth. I learned so much about myself last year. I learned I am resilient. That I’m strong. I learned I like rules–and I want to continue to explore how I might make rules work for me, instead of against me.

I discovered that I love to walk outside on our city’s river valley trails, as I mentioned. What’s next? Skiing? Swimming? I’m excited to find out. I discovered I enjoy being physical. Ok. Re-discovered.

I discovered that I want to stay married and develop and deepen my relationships with each member of my family. That means I will have to learn to become OK with awkwardness and uncertainty. (Biggies for me.) And we have some difficult times coming up which will either bring us closer together–or further apart.

As well, I want more friends. Of all kinds. I want to build relationships with people….and preferably people I can touch!

There is a strong relationship between my health habits and my life. So there are two questions I want to explore this year:

  1. How’s my life affecting my health habits?
  2. How are my health habits affecting my life? 

 

Here’s to 2018: A journey of self-discovery and re-creation!

Change is Fragile

It really is an audacious thing to do: to set out to change your self in the midst of living your life. And no one really comes out and tells you how fragile the whole thing is.

There are hints.

Keep it small, they say. Change only one small thing at a time. P.N. has a “five minute action” habit which follows this advice. At Zen habits, Leo Baubata offers a habit change program based on the “small is best” approach, too. So, if you want to start a meditation habit, for example, both would probably recommend starting with five minutes a day, tied to another, already existing habit.

I never really subscribed to it. I mean, I nod along when I read about it and I do understand it intellectually. But it all seems so puny, so insignificant. After all, lasting change can come with great upheaval–like becoming a vegetarian or quitting smoking. In those specific cases, though, a change of identity precedes the habit change, usually. So, while you might forget to meditate one particularly busy day, you wouldn’t likely stop and eat a burger.

Another clue is found in the exhortation to “schedule your workouts. Make an appointment with yourself.”

Or, they say, involve someone else. Either do a workout with them or make a bet with someone or somehow get some accountability built around your proposed change.

My life isn’t all that full, so scheduling my workouts seemed excessive. So did involving other people. I’m what Gretchen Rubin calls a Questioner. If I’ve established my own reasons for doing something, I can be relied upon to do it, pretty much….so I’ve never felt the need for an accountability partner.  I’ve never made a bet with anyone, either. It all feels like tips and tricks if you ask me.

But these ideas are all getting at something essential to change–namely–that it is difficult and that sustaining new behaviour requires support.

And that’s true.

A short while ago, PN devoted two weeks of lessons to creating a fitness mission statement. Throughout the process, I thought it was absurd. Then, late one night, I just decided to write it out.

And something changed in me. Boom, just like that, I changed my identity. I became someone who includes exercise in her life. I became an “active” person. And then I realised: by changing one thing….I am changing everything.

Shortly after this I had a conversation with my awesome PN coach Lisanne. I was blathering on about how exercise is an “anchor” habit for me–that once I’m exercising regularly everything else just falls into place. I feel better (endorphins are my friend), I eat better, I feel more confident at work and I even sleep better. The idea to work out every single day came up. Every day, without fail. Maybe only be five minutes on some days. I poopoohed that idea. But Lisanne made me realise that five minutes of squats–or a five minute plank– would still be a workout.

So I made the commitment to do something physical every day.

And boom. I had an action plan, a next step, to reenforce my new change of identity.

But that identity could have dissolved before it took hold. That new-me, the one who is a “fitness nut,” as we used to say, could have died without that conversation with my coach.

For 19 days straight, I exercised. Some days, there was no more than 15 minutes of pilates but there was something. It was exhilarating.

I created a protected space around my new identity with my committment. No matter what, I was going to work out, every day.

That’s why a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly inside a cocoon. Change requires protection: it needs to happen inside a shelter, in a safe place, in a sacred place, if you will. All those exhortations? All those tips and tricks? Shelter.

This insight has been profound for me.

This perspective, that I need to guard and protect my transformation, means that everything becomes secondary to the health and fitness goals I have this week. That is hard to sustain.

I feel the need to protect the time I’m making for exercise. I need to plan carefully for it and then do it. Weight training is tricky since you can’t do it every day. I also work weird unpredictable hours. Leaving me to figure out my workouts every day is about as reliable a method for me to be consistent as me trying to figure out dinner everyday. Not happening. So, I created a small weekly spread in my Bujo and now I can schedule it for the morning, afternoon or evening.

But it doesn’t always happen. There’s a lot that still needs to happen to support a change of this magnitude.

But I’ve begun.

 

 

 

 

The Crucial Difference Coaching Makes

It’s very simple.

Change comes from some shift within. That’s true. It happens within a person. Without that shift, change isn’t possible.

And I don’t think it’s all that rare. It’s in that brief thought, “Maybe I should….” It’s in that nagging mind loop, “Well, I really must….”

People just don’t know what to do with that shift, those thoughts. They don’t know how to make good on that glimmer of change. How to break it down, make it happen, make it stick. And even if they do know, it’s scary.

So, you need support. You need someone to come along side you and believe in you for you…hold that belief like a door you can eventually go through and claim as your own. You need someone who can help you figure out what’s the most important thing to you…and start there…or, if not the most important thing…something you’d like to be able to do, like impulsively buy a top at a store that doesn’t carry plus sizes….while shopping for groceries. A good coach takes what you give her and throws it back at you so you can see it, break it down into just “manageable” steps–  and do the next thing– out there where it’s a little uncomfortable, but not too uncomfortable.

I have been so blessed to have the coach I do.

I am so grateful to her.

She is still holding that door for me.

And I am taking steps to walk through it. And there will be another and another and then there will come a day when I open it for myself.

We’ll get there.

 

 

 

The November Report

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237ish pounds.

The last Monthly Report was March.

Over seven months ago.

Stats: 

April 1: During this month there’s some Spring Cleaning and the start of “bathroom refreshing” project

  • weight: 242.6 (-0.8 lbs)
  • waist: 46″
  • hips: 53″

Workouts in April: 6

May 1: This month the Bathroom continues, Unclutter the House course begins, I did Dr. Mark Hyman’s 10 day Detox. (Successfully, I might add. The facebook group was fun and I like rules.) 

  • weight: 244.6 (+2.0 lbs)
  • no measurements taken

Workouts in May: 6

June 1:  Unclutter: The Course continues.

  • weight: 235.0 (-9.6 lbs)
  • no measurements taken

Workouts in June: 12

July 1: Unclutter: The Course concludes, I do Uber Frugal Month as an on-line thing, Mom goes into the hospital with pneumonia and comes out rarin’ to go declutter, clean, and decorate her house. 

  • weight: 232.8 (-2.2 lbs)
  • no measurements taken

Workouts in July: 12

August 1: help Mom

  • 232.4 (-0.4 lbs)
  • no measurements taken

Workouts in August: 6

September 1: help Mom

  • weight: 235.0 (+2.6 lbs)
  • no measurements taken

Workouts in September: 15

October 1: help Mom, begin an online course from the U of A called Indigenous Canada. 

  • weight: 236.6 (+1.6 lbs)
  • no measurements taken

Workouts in October: 5

Nov 1: continue with Indigenous Canada

  • weight: 240.2 (+3.6 lbs)
  • no measurements taken

Workouts in November: 23 (with the last 17 days in a row!)

December 1: finish Indigenous Canada.  I’m going to do my best not to take on new things this month.

  • weight: 237.0 (-3.2 lbs)
  • waist: 45 3/4″
  • hip: 52 1/2″

 

I usually also discuss meditation and habits, but I practically gave up my meditation and a discussion of the PN habits I was supposed to incorporate into my life would not really help, because, clearly, things got in the way. But I will discuss the habits I’ve been getting back on track with.

Or, rather, to take responsibility for it, I chose to focus on things other than behaviours which lead to better health (and weight loss) until quite recently.

Beginning in March, I took about seven weeks and focused intently on Spring Cleaning–and redecorating our bathroom. In retrospect, I have no idea why I thought I’d be able to manage. I regret shifting my focus away from creating my new identity as a fit, strong, healthy, slim person and sliding back into the same ol’ frenzied creative decorating person I have been for the last decade or so.

In May, city crews began reconstructing the sidewalks, curbs and even a few roads in our neighbourhood. They started with a meeting right under our bedroom window at 7am every morning except Sunday. Then they rolled out their beeping equipment. It was awful. The noise of it all nearly killed me. (We live on a corner. Both streets were ripped up.) That continued right up until mid-October.

In June, I was able to get back on track a bit. I decluttered the house thinking hard about what I want for my future and how little I will likely need.

From mid-July to about the middle of October, I was busy with helping my Mom. That was more a case of seizing an opportunity that came up rather than a choice to do something other than focus on my journey. I discussed all that here. And while I am sorry I didn’t take a bit more time for myself to go for a walk now and again and I wish I’d made better choices about what to eat, I learned an awful lot about myself.

  1. I need support. It was so important to know that the program was right there for me to return to. I stayed in touch with my coach throughout and that kept me connected to my goals.
  2. I use highly palatable foods to soothe myself and make me feel great. I need to find and practice behaviours that do the same thing but which also contribute to my goals for a healthier life.
  3. With help from my coach, I tried eating better “on the go” and now know what I can do if there ever is a next time.
  4. My Mom and I have had some productive talks and there is now an expectation that I will bring my own food to her place if I am staying a while. Also, she is not to buy “treats” like baked goods just for me.
  5. Exercise is an anchor habit for me. When I exercise, I make better choices about what to eat.
  6. I hit junk food free fall after about 3 months of high stress. Huh. That’s not too-too bad. Working to a deadline, though, is high-high stress for me.

I am quite excited about my seventeen day exercise streak in November. Not all of those days were vigorous exercise. In addition to my PN weight lifting/full body exercises, I did Pilates, yoga, aqua fit, low-impact aerobics, went on a few walks and danced in the kitchen. I reviewed PN’s lessons on Recovery these past few days and it struck me how many times they stressed moving your body as often as you can. Depending on how you do it–and who you are–and what else is going on in your life–exercise is one of those things which can increase your stress–or decrease it by helping you rejuvenate. For me, that means I need to choose my movement based on what I want it to do for me. So, for example, on my walk today, I went to a trail where I would enjoy the view and the sunshine. My purpose was rejuvenation and joy–not building my strength or my cardiovascular fitness (though I’m still so out of shape that I can’t help doing both!)

For December, I intend to continue incorporating movement into my life every single day. I am also logging my food to track what I’m eating. I had been focusing (and I will continue to focus)  on doing my best to eat five fist full servings of fruit and veggies a day, but I want to level up. I want to start putting together what they call “PN Friendly” meals.  I’ll continue to focus on eating my meals slowly. As for only eating to 80% full, it’s complicated. I’m not ready to do that in anything more than a casual way right now. I have noticed that the more slowly you eat, the easier it is to stop at 80% full. It just feels natural. But sometimes I eat too quickly because I’ve gone too long between meals or I want to eat it while its hot. So, timing is an issue. I should start writing down what time I eat in the food log. Anyway,  I am taking 1,000 mg of Vitamin D, some acidophilus supplements and fish oil daily. With my husband now working nights, my sleep may become an issue as I am staying up later in order to have some time to myself since he’s usually home and talkative in the mornings (after 20 years of being gone by 6:30 am).

I am so glad I’ve been able to just jump back on the horse so quickly and easily.

On My Mind

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A gold plated etching of the neurons in the brain that responds to light, by artists Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. source.

Habit Change. Neuroplasticity.

Trigger –> husband and I have an argument

Behaviour –> eat ice cream with chocolate sauce

Reward –> feels great! and I avoided all those nasty feelings and thoughts brought up by the argument. That’s the negative spin. Looking at it on the positive side: Feels great! I am getting some much needed distance from my negative emotions so I can deal with them and issues when I’m clear headed. It’s a cooling off period.

So, I want to retain the reward: feeling good, getting some distance from/avoiding my upsetting emotions and change my mood to something better.

What other behaviour can do that?

  1. a walk with music. (Without music I’ll just ruminate and feel worse.)

I’ve been listening to music more. Finding out my likes and dislikes. Navigating all this new technology. (I am from the first generation of mixed tapes. I still have them.) That’s getting ready. I’m building the support structure. I’ve also been listening a lot lately and remembering how much I enjoy it. That’s building (re-building?) one side of the neural pathway.

The trick will be to remember to practice my new “coping habit” the next time there is a trigger–or an argument. (That will build the other side of the neural pathway.)

And so build the new neural pathways through repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Let the old die off.

And so it is with all change.

A bit scary.

Resources:

Here is a great article on how to create new habits and the importance of our environment:  http://reininginmom.com/blog/changing-habits/

Here are some lessons Leo Babauta has learned about creating and changing habits: https://zenhabits.net/13-things-to-avoid-when-changing-habits/

Here is something of a laundry list on Habit change from Psychology Today. Remember to begin with compassion: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/renaissance-woman/201607/how-change-unhealthy-habits

Back from The Future Postcard

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One of the earliest lessons in P.N. coaching was to send yourself a postcard from the future with your answers to three different prompts. I wrote:

I want to be…

I want to be able to handle the daily stress of life in a healthy way.
I want to be full of vitality and spirit.
I want to be able to handle my emotions without food.
I want to be confident in my body.

I want to do…

I want to move with grace and poise.
I want to go on fun adventures with my husband–and if he can’t keep up, I’ll go by myself. There’s too much of the world I still want to see. Did you know there’s such a thing as an “ocean walk” in Australia? How fun would that be?

 

I want to feel…

I want to feel free.
I want to feel strong.

This week, P.N. asked us to imagine ourselves as that person–and then to ask ourselves: What would my future self…the one in the postcard…say to my current self? What advice would I give to my current self?

Dear Self–

I am so proud of you for learning to handle your stress in ways that don’t involve food. You know how much your exercise helps with that. You also have your tools– your journaling and writing (including this blog) and your meditation. You know how to ask for what you need. This is probably an area of your life where you will keep learning and practicing new ways to relieve stress as you learn how to respond well to life ever-changing around you. Keep trying out different things to help you de-stress. Keep practicing different things. You are so close to developing a really workable toolkit–and soon you won’t even have to think about it.

Part of your kit for de-stressing, of course, includes all those things which give you vitality and feed your spirit.

Music. Remember that day Jemma set up your playlist for you? Was that life changing, or what? [Just happened this week, can you believe it? So late to the party, but finally here! Enjoying it so much.]

Walks in inclement weather. [Weird but true. I like a little wind in my face, rain in the summer, even the cold in winter. It’s the competitor in me, I guess.]

Learning. [This makes me feel like I’m growing. On a path of discovering all I can about Indigenous/Settler relations here in Canada at the moment. Not sure what I’ll ever do with my knowledge. But it feels worthwhile.]

Oh and girl, your emotions. I know you were afraid of them. Good thing you saw that counselor and learned how to live with them instead of eating them.

Hey, I know that Spartan race in June 2018 has you a little freaked out. Let me tell you from the other side that it was so worth it! Your physical activity and personal challenges have given you such confidence in your body! You know what it can do and you continue to move your body at the edge of your limits in some way every day, no matter whether that’s at the park on the Monkey bars, hiking through Iceland or kayaking on the West Coast. I am so proud of you for choosing to just go for it. Physical mastery brings you such joy. And let me tell you, having been through what we’ve been through– old age doesn’t scare you anymore.

You’ve always known that you’re responsible for your own life. Bottom line. Your actions have consequences: and those consequences create your reality.  I am so grateful to you for being proactive and looking after yourself–for creating the life I get to live in today. You have no idea how much joy is waiting for you. (I know there are totally random acts in the Universe that can happen and that we are not responsible for them happening–but we also know that our response is always a choice we make.)

 

Thank you for taking the time to set your boundaries and reinforce them. I can tell you that you’re not manipulated emotionally by others as much as you were. So, good for you.

And thank you for making the committment to take care of your health–physically, spiritually and emotionally.

It’s been quite the ride.

love,

your Future Self.

 

Stress and Me

 

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October 2017 Fitness Tracker from my BuJo

Here’s the thing.

We live who we think we are.

–Tony Robbins

We all act consistently with how we define ourselves.

And I define myself as a good daughter. Over this past year and a bit, I’ve also begun to define myself as someone who takes care of herself. Recently, these two values butt heads and I wound up gaining 10 pounds.

Here’s what happened.

I. Taking Care of my Mother

It happened at a bad time. I was just beginning to redirect my focus from a six week effort of helping my mother declutter and freshen up her home when it happened. From the middle of July to the end of August, I had spent every spare minute painting rooms, packing, organizing, hanging pictures and delivering loads and loads of things to Value Village. It was worth it. Mom was on medication that gave her physical strength and mental clarity–but it would only be for six weeks. So, we worked hard to declutter and transform her home.

Then, abruptly, t the beginning of September, with three months of back rent owing, my sister and her family moved out of the trailer she had been renting from my Mom. She took clothes, the kids’ beds and the curtains (and rods). She left everything else. Pots and pans. Books. A sectional, a bed, a dresser. An entire room full of boxes. An 8×10 shed full of boxes. The kitchen drawers were still full. It’s like someone left in the middle of the night–in the middle of a life. So, I jumped in to help. I painted, I packed, I bought new light fixtures, installed curtain rods, and hung curtains from Mom’s stash. I drove countless loads to good will and to recycling. Every spare minute I had, I was on the road to that trailer–1/2 hour each way. And it was fine. On the day I was there to take the final pictures for the listing, a fellow knocked on the door and asked to see it. Mom wound up renting to him: so all turned out the way it was supposed to.
However.

II. Taking Care of Myself (not).

I worked out only 6x in August.

September was better with 15 workouts logged. However, 6 of those workouts were during the single week I took off between the two projects not understanding how dire the trailer was.

October: 5 or 6x.

As I drove along the highway to the trailer, I’d promise myself I’d just take 15 minutes and go for a quick walk in the fall sunshine. Never happened. Instead, I ate crap in my car. When I had time to sit down, I had pie. And it got worse. I was in junk food free fall.

As an only child (my sister wasn’t born until I was 19 and I’d already left home) I have had a long and complicated relationship with my mother. It would be natural to cast this narrative as a conflict between meeting my needs and meeting hers. That’s certainly how it looks. But that would be a mistake. Luckily, as I was drafting this blog post, I read this article; Why we crave comfort: a peek at the science of food + mood, I realised it was something else entirely.

III. Stress.

 

Yes.

Stress, I’m looking at you.

According to this article, when you put yourself, or find yourself in a stressful situation, you tend to revert to behaviour you have always used to comfort yourself. I mean why wouldn’t you? You need comfort. You need to feel good for a hot minute. So, in my case, I eat something engineered to deliver the biggest dose of pleasure I can get legally. Pie, ice cream, chocolate in any form. Stuff that certainly does not help me towards becoming a healthy person. Couple that with virtually no exercise and boom, ten pounds.

Originally, I’d thought the value of being a good daughter and the value of looking after my self were in conflict–because I did not look after myself at all while helping my Mom (though I could have). But fortunately, that’s not what was happening. It’s just that my newly found awareness of the importance of looking after myself has not yet solidified into stable habits. On the contrary, those habits are very fragile. They need protecting. And so I mustn’t take on any big projects or tasks even as we go through Christmas and New Year’s.

Though that might be difficult. I think I may be a stress junkie.

I intend to sign up for P.N. again.

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