Deeeeeeep breaths. In for the count of 3, hold for the count of 3, out for the count of 3. Repeat. Again. Again. Again.
I’m exhausted. Not physically so much as mentally. Things are crazy-busy around here, not just at work, but at home, too. I’m taking my neighbors and their kids to Disneyland this weekend because I can get them in for free. (Now you know what company I work for, TA. LOL) Next weekend my mom is coming to visit because we’re part of a Creative group where we work on our cookbook and the pitch for our cooking show. The weekend after that I’m catering a friend’s (small) wedding. The weekend after THAT is a big film convention in Orlando, Florida, so I’ll be gone all week. The weekend after THAT . . .
I got nothin.’ My next free weekend will begin on Saturday, October 18. I will have JUST gotten home from Florida the night before. The funny thing is, I booked myself out without really realizing I’d done it. I don’t usually book myself this much; I don’t do well without some serious down time every week. So this is becoming an interesting exercise in Not Getting Overwhelmed.
Did I mention that I’m taking a class on Tuesday nights starting the last week in September? Yeah. That, too. You know what, though? It’s a class in prayer and meditation, so I figure I’ll be able to practice a LOT, LOL.
Ironically, I sometimes do best at taking care of myself when I’ve gotten this stressed out, though. When I finally hit the wall, I become ferocious about guarding my personal time. This week, I’ve blocked out Thursday night (tomorrow! so close!) as MINE. I will sit on the couch with a book and maybe a glass of wine. I might watch Spy Barbie (also known as Alias) on DVD because I LOVE that show. I will not check my emails, I will not return phone calls, I will not clean my house. I will rest. Even God rested on the seventh day. Sometimes I have to hit this level of busy-ness in order to REALLY take care of myself. Suddenly staying up a little too late matters, so I go to bed on time. Suddenly I desperately need a stress release, so I get more exercise. Suddenly I can’t cope with a stomachache, so I don’t eat crap food. Suddenly I have no time to myself so I MAKE TIME, DAMMIT. In these moments, that rebellious inner 8-year-old is a Godsend. (I also need to start writing again, because this blog is like journaling – it’s WAY therapeutic.)
In other news (read: because I’m too tired to stay on topic for very long, lol). I’ve been thinking a lot about Intuitive Eating and what it means to me since I wrote that last post about food and the skinny jeans and which behaviors are disordered and which are not. See, I function like a pendulum. I adhere TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY to one side until I get tired/angry/frustrated with it, and then I go TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY the opposite way. After a while I get tired/angry/frustrated with THAT, and I go TOTALLY but not quite as completely back the other way. Then back the second way. Then the first way. The second way. The first. The second. Until I land somewhere in the middle.
That’s why, when I first started writing about food and weight and how I felt in my body, I did NOT ask to be added to the Fatosphere. Even though my pendulum was way over that way at that time, I knew from experience that I was likely to swing back and forth a few times. Right about now my pendulum swings are getting narrower, and I’ve learned some things about what IE means to ME. Bear in mind that I haven’t read anything about it other than what’s easily accessible on the internet. Partly that’s because I never let the facts interfere with my opinions (kidding, I’m kidding), but mainly it’s because I find it more helpful to figure out my own mind with a minimum of help. THEN I go read what other people think and try to decide what I really think is good, and what I think is bullshit. It helps keep me from just believing everything I read at face value.
What? Oh, this is the part where I tell you what IE means to me, right. (Actually, I think I was supposed to do it at LEAST 2 paragraphs ago, but I have a tired brain right now, so . . . tangents.) ANYWAY. Here’s the thing. Obviously, I think “dieting,” especially super-restricted dieting is bad. Bad physically, bad mentally, bad on many, many, many levels. But . . . I’m not sure (FOR ME) that not putting any restrictions on what I eat is good, either. Not in a dieting sense, per se, but in a health sense. For instance, I feel better if I don’t eat cheese (as you all know). Unfortunately, my body does not always realize ahead of time that that lovely soft blue cheese will make me sick. REALLY sick. The kind of sick that gives me stabby stomach pain and makes me go to bed with a heating pad. My body forgets that. And so I stand there and I think, “I really want that cheese.” “Really? Are you sure, body? You don’t always feel good afterward.” “Yes, yes! Cheese!” “How about soy cheese?” “HEATHEN!!!! MUST EAT YUMMY CHEESE NOW!!!!” So I eat it. And I get sick.
Or what about vegetarians? They’re restricting an entire food category. Is that automatically bad? Does that mean they can’t eat inuitively? My mother freely admits she misses bacon. She LOVED bacon. But she doesn’t eat meat, for a number of reasons. So, no bacon. It’s not that she doesn’t want it; she just doesn’t eat it. Is she automatically excluded from IE?
And this is where I think I settle in the middle. If I eat what I know intellectually will make me feel good, even if it’s not what I might WANT right that minute? I don’t think that’s against IE. Sometimes I come home and my eye lands on the Doritos and I WANT THEM. But really? I’m just hungry and I don’t want to wait. So do I eat them? No, I do not (most of the time). I tell myself, “Oh, for God’s sake, you’re just hungry. Have a glass of milk while you heat up some dinner.” (Goat milk, ’cause you know . . . cow-dairy is BAD FOR MY TUMMY. Yeah, I said “tummy.” Deal with it.) And I’m FINE. I don’t spend the rest of the evening thinking about Doritos. I don’t think it goes against IE when I don’t eat the whole loaf of sourdough bread (toasted, with butter), even if I want it. I KNOW I WILL FEEL LIKE CRAP LATER, SO I MAKE A DIFFERENT CHOICE.
I’m reminded of MizFit’s comment about how sometimes you just have to tell yourself, “I AM A GROWN-ASS WOMAN.” But I DO think you have to be careful to delineate between what you’re doing for HEALTH reasons and what you’re doing for COSMETIC reasons. Starving myself to drop 10 pounds isn’t healthy. But neither is eating cheese just because I feel like it. And I can see where if you’ve restricted for SO LONG, that maybe the pendulum SHOULD swing all the way the other way, and you should eat Doritos and cookie dough for a while so that you can “deprogram.” But eventually, you have to find YOUR happy medium. YOURS. Not the one the diet folks say you should find, not the one the eat-whatever-you-want-folks say you should find. YOURS.
It seems simple, doesn’t it? But the operative word there (for me) is SEEMS.
Now I’m REALLY tired. That’s all I got tonight. 🙂