It’s so much easier to point a finger at someone else than to reflect on ourselves.
In trying to not be a hypocrite, I used someone else’s coping as a mirror, and found that I was not satisfied with what I saw. I wanted to point to someone else’s excessive drinking as a problem when I wasn’t willing to evaluate myself by the same standard. Until I was, and got really honest about that mirror, and saw that my eating to excess was no different.
I decided to be mindful about it, to notice what I was doing in an attempt to measure my problem. I started checking in with myself when I opened the fridge or the pantry.
Am I actually hungry? Do I need to eat, or is this about something else?
Turns out it’s usually about something else, and when it is I remind myself that food is for when I’m hungry and if I’m not hungry then I need to deal with the real issue.
It’s slowly starting to spill over into how I feel and what I’m experiencing, and has led to me going to bed earlier than usual a few times.
This mindfulness thing is pretty great.
For years I have coped with anxiety by numbing with food, work and spending money. I started spinning with anxiety at the end of the workday, and got agitated, not able to sit still but not able to find anything to do with myself, and I just wanted to eat. And I would have, normally. This time I went on a walk instead and listened to You Are a Badass. I ate after I got back because I had too much of a calorie deficit for the day, but by that point I wasn’t eating to numb or distract myself, I had resolved my anxiety and was starting to get a lot of creative thoughts and ideas. I don’t expect the challenge of changing how I cope with anxiety will be any less difficult anytime soon, but change starts with the first step.
I caught myself casually ignoring calories last night. I had severe anxiety and just leaving my room was hard. I went from high to severe while I made dinner and felt myself tipping over the edge to xanax level.
That weight loss trigger? Haha, yeah. So I was unconsciously disregarding that I was coping by packing on the calories.
But I noticed.
It’s so hard to reprogram triggers in the middle of severe anxiety. It’s so hard to do anything other than what reads as necessary to survival. I can work. I can feed myself. I can usually shower and brush my teeth. That’s about it.
Which is highlighting an urgent need to pause and make space to dig into this and face it.
After I go get my hair cut.
This is the first full week I’ve worked in six months. Over 40 hours, fully engaged, up early, up late, driving lots of miles, handling difficult aspects of projects and wading into conflict to resolve it rather than pass it off to someone else with blame.
While on a new diet that takes away food as a crutch and while resolving some challenging personal shit.
Two days into keto, and I’m down 3.8 pounds. I apparently hit ketosis fast – woohoo!
It feels really good to practice discipline in what I eat, something I have struggled with for so long. I attribute it to the hard work I’ve done in PTSD recovery, to working through shame issues, anxiety, realizing how much I’ve been numbing, learning what I use to cope and seeing that I have other options – options that take work and practice, but that are improving my life so much.
I think I may have stopped numbing. I’m stopping work when it’s at a stopping point and I can reasonably be done for the day – and I don’t feel bad about being done and I don’t feel like I didn’t do enough. I’m not eating to ignore my feelings, and I’m conscious of what I eat. Work and food have been my go-tos to ignore my feelings and my problems for years. This feels pretty good.
I had a lot of creativity last night and was able to think through some ideas I’ve been stalled out on for several months. That felt great too! The other side is that now I’m feeling, I’m also feeling hurt. The emotions I’ve been blocking and ignoring for a long time are still there and still have to be dealt with, and I understand that…and am slowly accepting it. But that also leaves from for happy and a lot of other good things, so here’s to exploring that.
I’m working, I’m focused, I’m doing yoga without issue other than that it’s challenging for my body, I’m ignoring things that aren’t important right now, I’m connecting, I’m planning ahead, I’m not pushing myself to do things “just because” or out of some unhealthy sense of obligation, I’m eating for fuel and nutrition and not to cope, I’m sleeping, I’m learning and I am so, so grateful for today <3.
The Sahara Dust is killing any ideas I have about walking outside (I tried it Monday and won’t be doing that again), so I’m probably not achieving my exercise goals this week. Eh.
I also am losing interest in food as a way to numb/cope, which feels weird but is good. I haven’t stopped eating, I just am not focused on eating, and can go hours without any interest in food. It’s such a change from before, and it’s nice! I’ve also been sleeping a lot this week, and letting myself sleep. Things are still getting done, even if they are not all getting done today, and my resting heart rate has dropped another 3 beats per minute – a sign that I have less stress and anxiety.
I had a really great conversation with my boyfriend last night, much closer to when we started dating than recently. We talked about Things Going On In The World until late, and that free flow of ideas and questions is such a gift, because I can’t do that with just anyone, and it reminded me why I like him so much.