Tag Archive: diet


Kombucha

random sidenote: I’m experimenting with a regimen of a few ounces of kombucha daily to see if it helps my digestive issues any.

Advertisements

Body image

Lately, I have consistently weighed around 125.  That’s 15 pounds heavier than I was before my birthday.  I must make a concerted effort to drop a few.  Simply cutting portion size should do.  I certainly didn’t exercise regularly.  Though of course I know it would help.

I can’t afford to gain any more.  I got rid of all my bigger pants.

Tonight I ate the rest of the cookies I had in the freezer.  They weren’t very good, and I’m glad they are gone.  Now, hopefully, I will not indulge in any more… indulgences.  Of the edible sort, anyway.

I’m on the verge of something.  My therapist today referred to different stages of existence.  There’s comfort, there’s stretching, and then another one that’s like EXTREEEME and unpleasant.  I think I’m lingering in “comfort,” knowing I’m unhappy but being too, well, comfortable to push myself into “stretching” — the type of existence where one grows and prospers.

No yoga this weekend, because there’s a festival in the park.  Maybe I’ll pump my bike’s tires and take a ride to the greenway.  Maybe.

Digestion

I could make a whole blog about my digestive issues, but it would probably get way more explicit than most people are comfortable hearing about.  Suffice it to say that I have suffered from chronic constipation since at least 8th grade.  I have never seen a picture of my intestines, but in my imagination they are always full, stretched out and nonfunctioning.  My digestive problems are fueled by the following (that I know of, to date): Depression, anxiety, stress.  Not drinking enough water.  Not getting enough physical activity on a regular basis.  I’m a vegetarian, so I eat lots of beans, whole grains and veggies, so I feel like I probably get enough fiber.  I’ve never measured it though, so who knows.

Lately I’ve been wondering more and more if this isn’t just constipation; maybe it’s IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).  Or maybe IBS is just another one of those things they made up so people have a name for really unpleasant chronic digestive issues.  I dunno.  My stupid GP doctor only works 2 days a week so the earliest appointment I could get with her was July 2.  I keep meaning to find another doctor but since I typically only go once a year I tend to forget about it.

Kinda sucks that this is both caused by stress and causing me stress.  Vicious cycle, anyone?

breathing, and new form

A friend posted this video to her google+ just a few days before my last post.  What struck me most was the speaker’s assertion that breathing is not determined by “sucking air” through the nose or mouth.  It happens through expanding the “core”, which creates a vacuum and pulls air in to fill the vacuum.  We don’t have to “inhale” in the sense that we consciously pull in air — we merely have to expand and contract the core.  It makes so much sense — and feels good when I concentrate on doing it right! — that I think that will be one of my little projects.  I was working on breathing anyway, and I think training myself to breathe in this way will be very beneficial.

On another note entirely, I talked it over with my therapist and I will be dropping back to once a month sessions.  What that means is that I will be more responsible for keeping up with my progress and paying attention to my moods and reactions.  I came up with a basic list of things I want to monitor, and intend (ha ha) to keep up with it daily.  The format will be as follows:

Mood: Scale of 1-5 overall for the day, with notes as needed for particular events which cause (or seem to cause) a change.
Diet: Record breakfast, lunch, dinner & any snacking. Include alcohol.
Exercise: (if any)
Self-maintenance: Did I brush my teeth? Shower? etc.
Motivation: Making note of things I chose to do or chose not to do, including social, domestic & work-related activities.
Avoidance: Honest assessment of the unpleasant tasks I chose to avoid or chose to face throughout the day.
Honesty: Noting opportunities I had to speak the truth (i.e. my mind), whether I chose to do so, to keep silent, or whether I lied in order to avoid possible conflict.

The last two items are in response to habits I have become aware of in myself to avoid unpleasant tasks and to avoid conflict by either avoiding giving my opinion or sometimes outright lying.  I believe the best first step I can take in change these habits is to make myself aware of how often I employ them, and how often I am able to overcome them.

I hope very much I can continue this throughout the summer at least — a pretty big commitment for me.

Potential for change

I’ve spent the last few weeks coming to the realization that I have almost completely lost any mindfulness I had acquired since starting to read Tara Brach’s Radical Acceptance.  I have not been meditating, have not been aware of my inner feelings or any of the things I believe will most help me in my desire to truly accept and love myself.

I went so far as to take a “mental health” day off from work last Wednesday because I realized I was getting too wound up at work, unable to do anything but fight the stress, frustration and inadequacy I was feeling.  That day was nothing special in and of itself.  I had no great epiphany or internal shift.  But I did outline some things I will do to prevent that kind of day from being necessary in the future.

First, I will exercise.  I burned a DVD of 10-minute pilates-based exercises a while back.  I can certainly spare 10 minutes each morning before breakfast to help strengthen my “core,” and if the rumors are true it should also help my emotional wellbeing.

I will get to work early enough that I can sit in my car and meditate for 10 minutes before starting the work day.

I made a couple signs to put around my desk.  One, on the bottom of my monitor, simply says “PAUSE.” This is in reference to Dr Brach’s technique of pausing in moments of overwhelming or intense feeling and simply allowing myself to feel what is going on in my body and mind rather than trying to push the feelings away.  It’s supposed to help in the long run if you do it regularly.  The next I taped just inside one of my drawers.  It is a reminder that being imperfect is part of existing and not something to beat myself up about.  The last is actually a quotation from Rainer Maria Rilke — it may have been part of a poem, I don’t know — the essence of which is: what if all the things we are deeply afraid of are really just helpless and alone, needing to be embraced & nurtured?  It’s a reminder that those parts of me that I dislike are really just disguising the deep unhappiness and pain I have felt throughout my life, and in order to allow the wounds to heal I will have to face those unpleasant characteristics and embrace them.

So far, so good.

I have also made an appointment with a homeopathic doctor.  I am both extremely skeptical of and very intrigued by the philosophies and methods of homeopathy.  Really the only reason I am trying it is that Mom has received treatment from this woman for a while now and has been very satisfied with the results.  Homeopathy, as I understand it, tries to address all facets of personal health, the mind as well as the body.  And since I have long suspected a link between my physical ailments and my emotional problems, it seems like it might be worth trying.  She confirmed that it was OK to continue taking my antidepressant until I get to a point where the homeopathic treatment has started to make a substantial difference.  We shall see.

Lately I have also become more interested in being more careful in my diet.  Eating smaller portions, cutting back the dairy and sugar I consume, etc.  Moosewood’s Low-Fat Cookbook has a lot of helpful information about nutrition and fat:carbohydrate:total calorie ratios, so I am using that as a jumping-off point, but I intend to gather data on the types of foods I generally eat and what kind of fat/carb/protein/calorie intake I am getting from them.  Due to my GI issues I am also looking to bolster my fiber intake and drink lots more water.  I think part of the reason I have avoided drinking water for so long is that I have to pee a lot more, and I’ve always hated having to go pee when I’m in the middle of something, and if you drink a lot of water, you’re very likely to be in the middle of something the next time you have to pee.  But it’s a small price to pay for getting a little healthier in mind and body.

 

My main concern is that I tend to get on these “kicks” for a while, then the energy surrounding it fades and I eventually stop applying myself to such degrees.  My goal here is to make these changes lifestyle changes and not just “diet”-like things that I will not keep doing.  We shall see.