Chocolate and Spice

When the alarm went off at 4:50 yesterday, I really didn’t want to get up but I told myself I would feel better if I worked out before work. So, I got up and walked for 30 minutes on my treadmill followed by yoga.  I was craving guidance with my practice so I decided to do a yoga download instead of a free flow. I did yoga download 25 minute morning flow. I enjoyed this flow as it included lots of my favorites including warrior II, cresent lunge and, of course, shoulder stand. The most exciting part of the practice was doing my very first full wheel! I used blocks but I did it. I have been trying for a couple of weeks now and the feeling of getting into it was amazing! It really started my day off of the right foot!

By the time I was doing moving my body, I was hungry. I mean stomach rip roaring growling hungry! I heated up a bowl of overnight oat bran, in the bowl was 1/3 cup oat bran, 1 cup milk, 1 tbsp ground flax seed, 1 mashed banana, 1 tsp of brown sugar and a pinch of salt. I added some water to thin it out and then topped it with cashew macadamia nut butter and a few chocolate chips. We are calling this bowl overnight elvis oat bran 🙂

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Work was productive and lunch time came fast. We didn’t do our usual Monday routine and instead, T and I packed lunch. I brough whole wheat couscous, a texas veggie burger, ripeavocado chunks, colorful pepper chunks and bbq sauce. It all seemed like a weird combination but it turned out wonderful! I loved it!

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For lunch dessert # 1, I had this juicy orange

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and for lunch dessert # 2, I had a reese’s heart.

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In the late afternoon, I dove into my snack so fast I almost forgot to photograph it. I had my usual greek yogurt with berries.

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For dinner, the dear husband and I met at Ukrop’s since I was meeting with my new therapist at 6. I had crab salad on a whole wheat pita,

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three bean salad

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and a ghiradelli chocolate caramel square.

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Therapy went well though she was heavy on the perfume. My regular therapist is out of maternity leave so I have a temporary one for three months. I connected with her right away which I was really thankful for. Her approach is very different that my regular therapist but I think I will take well to it. It is essential for me to have a solid treatment team while I go through my group therapy and I think this new therapist will be a strong foundation.

When I arrived home, there was a package waiting for me! Mara at I Made Dinner sent me an array of Penzy’s spices for winning the BSI a couple of weeks ago. In the package was my beloved florida seasoning, cake spice, zatar seasoning, greed goddess dressing mix and sicilian salad topper. I can’t wait to dig into all of them!

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After chatting with Mara for a bit, I was feeling hungry. I had a small bowl of cocoa pebbles with milk that really hit the spot. Shortly after, I was in bed with my book.

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Question: What have you accomplished lately that makes you feel proud? For me, it is getting into wheel pose, for sure!

Feel My Feelings?

Whoa. Did I ever oversleep yesterday. I grabbed my coffee and got ready as fast as I could. I ended up getting to work about 10 minutes late but, besides The Pro, I am the first one there anyway, so it didn’t really matter.  I was super excited about my breakfast. I talked with Lee about her overnight oats so I gave it a try. I used Bob’s Red Mill Muesli and milk and put that in the fridge overnight. Once I was at work, I popped it into the microwave for a couple of minutes and I had perfect oatmeal without any oatmeal explosions. I topped it off with mixed berries, flax seed and a PB spoon.

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Lunch was an unexpected treat. T offered to go pick up sushi from a new place. I jumped all over that one and from her recommendation, I ordered a Happy Roll

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and a sweet potato roll.

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The happy roll made me very happy indeed. It was tuna, avocado, spicy sauce and crunchies. The sweet potato roll was a little undercooked but it was still tasty. I think this place will be our new fav because it is much cheaper and we both really enjoyed the happy roll. The afternoon was productive and when 3:30 rolled around, I hit the door running. I got home and felt a little hungry so I had a few grapes to hold me over.

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For dinner, I made eggs in purgatory again. I overcooked them again but we did enjoy them a little more because I served them over creamy polenta instead of brown rice.

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On the side, we had garlicy green and yellow beans with an olive oil drizzle.

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After dinner, I made my way to group therapy. This week, we focused on chapter 7, Feelings, in Eating in the Light of the Moon by Dr. Anita Johnston. What a loaded topic this was. I, along with everyone else in the class, felt really uncomfortable with this topic. Avoiding my feelings is what I have done my whole life, how am I supposed to all of a sudden start feeling them now? I even avoid feeling happy by sabataging myself with guilt and anxiety. It feels easier to just feel depressed, anxious or sad than to explore the array of other emotions. Obviously, that isn’t working too well for me but it was really hard to be told to intellectually just feel.

We all agreed at the end of the session that we felt worse than when we walked in. Why is it that just talking about trying to feel is hard? I think it is because I have so many unreconciled emotions that I’n not ready to feel my present life. Or maybe, it is easier to feel anger at my boss for a tiny little thing than to actually feel all of the anger I have stuffed down with food. Ah, a loaded topic, I tell you.

When we left, I was able to connect with a couple of the ladies in the group and it felt nice to talk about ED with a real live person as a friend instead of as a client. I’m surrounded by people that I view as normal eaters and it kills me that I am the screwed up one. Having someone relate felt so good, I hope that we can expand these conversations and become better friends.

By the time I got home, I was ready for bed. I fell asleep quickly which I think is a good sign that even though this is hard, it is good.

I can tell you what I am feeling right now, I feel that you all should get on over to Mara’s blog to enter her 100th post giveaway, I assure you, you want to win this one. And don’t forget, time is running out to enter my Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce giveaway!

What A Day

Yesterday started out easy and ended up being what felt like the longest day in history! I started out with a bowl of Trader Joe’s High Fiber mixed with Quaker Oat Squares topped with dried blueberries, ground flax seed and milk. Yum. Yum. Yum. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

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Shortly after breakfast, things got a little hairy. I went downstairs to talk to The Chef about lunch when the F & B Director roped me into doing a coffee tasting. We tasted four varieties that left me zooming around unable to think straight. Kinda like a wine tasting but different 🙂 Finally, about an hour later than normal, I got lunch. At that point, I really didn’t care what it was so I chose the staff lunch. A tuna salad wrap with cheese

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and a few, like 5, homemade chips. MMmm….homemade chips.

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After lunch was when it all came tumbling down. In my caffeine craze, I made a pretty big work mistake. Assessing it now, I even think it is the biggest mistake I have ever made in this job. Trying to fix the mistake left me feeling frantic and on the brink of a panic attack. I finally settled down once I talked it out with The Pro. Thankfully, he is a good boss and was very understanding and helped me clearly see the correct solution.

I left work feeling edgy which is never good and to top it off, I had double therapy. Once with my therapist and group. My regular therapy session was very productive. We discussed a topic that I’m not ready to publicly talk about but I will say that it was good to get it out there and start the process of forgiveness. I am really on my path to healing.

After regular therapy, I met the dear husband at Moe’s for a quick dinner before group. I had a cheese quesadila with chips (that I didn’t eat)

there really is a quasadila under those chips

there really is a quasadila under those chips

and a pinto bean taco.

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Yum. It was all fantastic but I was still a little hungry when I left. Probably because my crazy afternoon caused me to miss my afternoon snack. Anyway, after we ate, I headed to group. This week, we discussed spirituality which is another loaded topic for me. A few books were suggested as reading material and I have already ordered them on Amazon.com. What I took most from the session is that I am not the only one that feels the way I do about religion/god/spirituality. I’m wondering if that could be another common denominator between those with ED. Anyway, we made spiritual vision boards and I took a picture of mine for you to see. What do you think?

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After I got home, I was still hungry so I had an orange.

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Eating the orange felt like a major step in the right direction for me. After an emotionally taxing day, I felt physical hunger and instead of taking that as an opportunity to hang out with ED, I ate and went to bed.

Hunger as a Metaphor

Ah. Normal Blogging Behavior, I’m so glad to be back. I am still pretty sick but am doing well enough to function. A couple of days ago, it took all I had to make myself a glass of juice and now, I am back into my normal routine. I really do believe that being sick is my bodies way of telling me that my down time was needed…right now. I plan to take it pretty easy the next few days so that I can be full force pretty soon.

Now, onto yesterday. I went to work late due to reports of ice on the roads so I decided to have breakfast at home. My appetite has been really off for a couple of days now and what I wanted was kinda strange. I had a chocolate vitatop with a peanut butter smear

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and a glass of grape juice.

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Not a normal breakfast by any means but it did the job and I made it all the way to lunch without feeling hungry. Around 11, I was feeling hungry so I had the chef make me a salad with ranch dressing on the side. I normally just do oil and vinegar but for some reason, I wanted ranch. I ended up eating about 5 bites of the salad before I had enough.

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I also had a boca spicy “chicken”  patty on a sandwich thin with blue cheese dressing.  This was my first time EVER cooking these things in the microwave an I must say, I don’t recommend it. It was really chewy and hard, once again, I didn’t eat all of it.

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I had a really busy afternoon and didn’t have time for my usual snack before therapy so I had a chocolate coconut chew larabar in the car. Once I got there, we talked about my mayonnaise jar, being sick and the exciting news that since starting Body Pump, I have lost inches off of my waist and hips. I had talked with Brandi about taking measurements and I am so glad I did. Even when the scale stays in the same spot, it IS nice to see the inches falling off. It is also nice to see muscles developing in my arms and legs.

After a relatively light conversation with my therapist, time was up and I had a date with the dear husband at Ukrops. I had group so we had to do something really quick for dinner and Ukrop’s is less than a mile from the therapy office. Somehow, I temporarily lost my camera and didn’t get to photograph what I had but for the record, I had half of a dynomyte roll, half of a veggie roll and a few bites of strawberry salad with whipped cream. I also had a few sips of this vitamin water that I took a picture of once I found my camera.

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After dinner, I made my way to group. We went through the session and I sat there thinking that it wasn’t doing anything for me the way past sessions had. We were focusing on Chapter 5 and 6 from Eating in the Light of the Moon by Dr. Annita Johnston.  We went through a guided meditation that led us through the sensations, the colors and the voice of hunger. Then, we were to draw what we visualized and, of course, discuss it with the group. I drew my stomach with faint signals, then louder signals and then screams. The screams were the words now now now and it was then I realized that my hunger IS a metaphor as the book suggests.

We had much discussion about what our emotional hunger is asking us for and then a discussion about Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. I realized that the second level of needs, safety, is a need in my life that was never met until I met the dear husband. Security is a feeling I have longed for since my first memory. No wonder I bounce around trying to fill all these voids with tons of friends, new “identities” and food. The session came to a close and all of a sudden I had an overwhelming sense that I needed to cry. I could feel the emotion welling up just under my eyes. I wanted to burst into tears so I said to the group “Am I the only one that wants to burst into tears?”. A couple of the women agreed that they felt it too and I told them that if I felt that way at home, I would be binging in a matter of moments.

That overwhelming feels that I can’t identify comes over me often and last night I realized what it is. Well, not exactly what it is but I can put my finger on the feeling. The feeling is fear. I could list for you the reasons that I think I am a disordered eater and some of those things are really scary to think about. But, I have identified that those things happened to me and I have been doing the work needed to deal with them. This is where the fear comes in.

I have very few memories of childhood; I can count on one hand how many I have. The fear is that if the things that I DO remember are so terrible, what is it that I am not remembering. What am I pushing so far down with food that I can’t even recognize it? This leads to such strong mixed emotions. Do I really want to remember it all? Maybe it is really nothing. I already feel immense guilt for being “screwed up” and that I should just suck it up and get over it. Or like one group member put it, a shitty childhood is just a cop out.  The fear of adding something else to that list leads me through life with a nutella spoon in my mouth.

So, it started out pretty lame-o and ended up being the most intense session yet. I feel like I am at a turning point now, like life as I know it is about to change. It is going to take some time and some intense therapy to get to the bottom of that fear but I will get there.

Red Herrings and a Mayonnaise Jar

Yesterday,  I woke up in a brighter mood than I had been in a few days. I had my usual cafe au lait on the way to work but because I was in a hurry, I ordered breakfast from the kitchen. The Chef made me a egg and cheese sandwich on wheat toast. I prefer to bring my breakfast and lunch to work but it is great to know that I have a food source only steps away 🙂

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For lunch, I had a bowl of black bean soup topped with cheese and sour cream. I pulled the soup out of the freezer and I think it gets better over time.

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In the late afternoon, I sipped on a soy latte that The Pro brought me. Lately, my need for coffee has increased and this latte could not have been more on time. Once work was done, I had an appt to get my hair cut and plans to meet the dear husband for dinner. We met at a Mexican place right by my hair salon so that I could get to group therapy in time. The food came out really slow and I was in an insane hurry so I didn’t take any photos but for the record, I had some chips and salsa (probably too many), a spinach burrito that was simply sauteed spinach in a tortilla and a cheese quesadilla.

The group is led by a therapist and a RD that specializes in eating disorders and this week, we met at the RD’s office instead of the therapist’s office. It is WAY on the other side of town and there was mucho traffic. I ended up being a little late but thankfully, I was not the last to arrive. We got started after everyone arrived and the discussion was about chapter 4 of Eating in the Light of the Moon by Dr. Annita Johnston.  The entire session seemed to be exactly what I needed.

First, we talked about eating disorders being the Red Herring , or a smoke screen, for the real issues. This wasn’t really news to me because I am very aware that my ED comes from my lack of coping skills for my past and present hurts. But as the conversation continued, we were given a list, an actual list, of about 200 emotions. The list is to help us identify what we are feeling which is the first step. How can we address our feelings if we don’t even know what they are? This is a situation that I find myself in often. Sure, I can identify happy, mad, sad, frustrated but isolated, not so much. Of course, I have felt isolated but never have I been able to put a word to the feeling. The feeling of not knowing “what’s wrong” often times leads to emotional eating and sometimes binging.

Once the emotion is identified, we have to take action that doesn’t lead to our “behavior”. When we are mad, we can go for a run or when we are happy we could dance or sing. So the question arises, what about those times that the ED takes over and logic is no longer available in our minds? That is where self care, or the mayonnaise jar , comes in. In order to prevent those moments when the cloak of ED covers us, we have to put our self care FIRST. That’s right, self care has to come first. 

For me, self care means spending QUALITY time with my dear husband, practicing yoga, meditating, regular (not excessive) exercise and social time. These things have to take priority over things like overtime at work, gourmet meals everyday and a sparkling clean home. Sure, those things are important to me but I have to take care of myself. I have often viewed self care as selfish but in reality, I can only take care of them less important things if I am well. Being at the bottom of a nutella jar is not well.

Another key aspect to self care is to not let our emotions pile up inside, we need to feel them and then let them go. I have trouble with expressing what I feel because I am a people pleaser. I fear hurting someone’s feelings or looking like an idiot for being too sensitive. What I learned last night is that being a sensitive person is part of being intutive, it means I listen to my emotions. I don’t have all of the skills I need to deal with them sometimes, but at least I am listening and that is a step in the right direction.

Do you put self care first? Are you a people pleaser that fears saying no or telling your REAL emotions?

Figuring It Out

Thanks to all of your for your sweet words on yesterday’s post. It means so much to me to have the support of such a wonderful community of bloggers. Working on recovery from ED is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with with the exception of the loss of my brother. Probably because it encompasses so much. Not only do I have to deal with all of the things that have happened to me in my life, I have to learn to deal with everyday life, too. For so long, food has been my source for dealing and taking that away is a long hard process.

Yesterday was another long hard day but I seemed to making it through without using food. I made a cafe au lait for my ride to work and then had breakfast when I got there. It was another repeat but so good. I had greek yogurt topped with berries, granola and flax seed. The addition of the flax seed was wonderful, it gave it a nice nutty flavor.

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For lunch, I had staff lunch because I wasn’t really in the mood for what I brought and rarely does staff lunch fall into the pescatarian category. It was poached salmon with mashed potatoes

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and I got a salad on the side for some good green veg.

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The salmon was really delicious, it was perfectly cooked and seasoned. For lunch dessert, I had two small squares of dark orange chocolate. So good!

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For my afternoon snack, I had a nut and seed bar that I found on a recent trip to the grocer. It was pretty tasty, it wasn’t too sweet and the sunflower seed flavor really shined.

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After work, I had therapy. I was really looking forward to the session because I had been in such a funk I really wanted to talk it out. My therapist wanted to dig deeper than “I’m in intense therapy and it sucks” and after some reflection we realized that my most recent funk has many layers and is the result from the lack of balance I have in my life right now. The downward spiral seemed to start with my crappy yoga class on Saturday followed by a really long list of things to accomplish over the weekend. Yoga is vital to my well being and I am truly dependent on it for my sanity. Down time is also crucial to me and lately, I haven’t had much of that. I have been very on the go with errands, work, the gym and therapy. And last but not least, I need some friend time. Life has been so crazy, I have only spent time with friends for quick workout classes and haven’t gotten any good quality time to just hang out and have a good time.

Balance is what I need. I’ve decided that I really need to re-evaluate how I am spending my time and prioritze the things that are most important to keeping me healthy. Hopefully, over the next couple of weeks, I can get everything that I need to done while finding the time to just be. I think two major adjustments needs to be made to accomplish this. I need to make some adjustments to my workout schedule and I need to realize that now is not the time in my life for long complex meal processes. While cooking is a beautiful form of meditation for me when it becomes stressful like it has been, then it is time to rethink things. So be prepared for more quick and easy meals as I search for balance.

Speaking of quick and easy :), I made a quick and easy dinner after therapy. Grilled cheese on sandwich thins with Amy’s Low in Sodium Tomato Bisque soup.  This is a meal that I just don’t seem to be tiring of this winter.

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For dessert, I decided to test the waters with nutella. As most of you know by now, nutella is a major red light food for me. It is a food that I have tried “legalizing” in my life many times and have never really been successful. It always seems to trigger a binge for me. So, last night I had a small bowl of Stoneyfield Farms froyo with a nutella spoon on the side. No binging, no spoon directly moving from jar to mouth and no second thoughts about it. I just enjoyed it which is a major accomplishment for me.

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Thought Provoker: What creates balance in your life?

Chocolate on Bread

I had a long hard emotional day yesterday. Ever since I started the group therapy, my obsession with the scale and my appetite have increased. I experienced the same thing a couple years back when I started seeing my regular therapist. I think what happens is that all of the issues of the past become so “in my face” that I just wanted to push them back down.  Though I am learning new coping skills that don’t involve eating, food is still one of my very best friends. The kind of friend that is there through thick and thin, the kind of friend that has caused heartache as well as the greatest joys.

I started the day on the scale. It showed me a number that I really didn’t like even though it was only slightly higher than the day before. Of course, in all honesty, it was to be expected with my love for chocolate and dessert lately.  After my “weigh in”  I grabbed my cafe au lait and tried to pretend that my battle with scale didn’t exist. I went to work as normal and ate a normal “healthy” breakfast. I had greek yogurt with berries and granola.

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Things became tricky around lunch time. I was feeling really wiped out when The Pro offered to pick up lunch from Panera. Feeling depressed and tired, I wanted something comforting. I ordered the tomato and mozzarella panini

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with creamy tomato soup. Once it arrived, though it was slightly cool, I devoured it with no regard to how hungry I was.

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Feeling stuffed, I wanted some chocolate. I bought this dark chocolate orange bar

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at the grocery store over the weekend and it was calling my name. I took one bite and it tasted heavenly. It was then that I saw the leftover baguette.

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I had only taken a bite and dipped it into my soup while I was eating lunch but it was calling my name. I wrapped a couple of squares of the chocolate in the bread and proceeded to finish off stuffing what I could down. By then end, I was miserably stuffed. I wanted to cry, even looking back on it now brings tears to my eyes. I got through it by chatting with my friend Sarah on Gmail and for a little while, my negative feelings subsided.

After work, I had a date with the dear husband at the gym; the plan was to run for 40 minutes on the treadmills. I got on the treadmill and started a 5 minute warm-up followed by about 7 minutes of running. I couldn’t do it anymore. My mind wouldn’t let me. I slowed down to a brisk walk and finally made my way back up to running for about 2 minutes. After that, I just didn’t have it in me anymore. I slowed down to a stroll and finished out the 40 minutes. Had the dear husband not been right beside me, I would have bailed after that 7 minutes of running. It felt so frustrating because, lately, running has been a freeing, mind clearing release for me and in those moments, it was mental torture.

We left the gym and came home to make dinner. I made orange peel tempeh from a recipe I found on Sally’s Blog. I made the sauce over the weekend and assembled it all last night over brown rice. It was way too spicy, I ended up not measuring the rooster sauce and over did it big time. I could only eat a couple of bites before calling it quits. The dear husband was a trooper and finished off his serving.

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I was still hungry. I decided that the safest thing for me to have was popcorn. I air popped a batch and we headed upstairs to watch Brothers and Sisters on the computer. We normally DVR it but for some reason, it didn’t record this week. Once the show was over, I found some leftover chocolate covered sunflower seeds from our wedding and proceeded to dive in.

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At the same time, I grabbed my copy of Eating in the Light of the Moon and sat down. Thankfully, reading the stories calmed me down. Enough so that I only ate a couple of tablespoons of the seeds. It felt good to finally stop eating but I am still ravaged with the shame of it. I know that doing this therapy is the right thing, if I don’t face all of “my stuff” I will continue to reach for “my log” for the rest of my life. In the end, it isn’t about the food and my only way to recovery is through it.