Monthly Archives: September 2018

Can’t talk, busy sewing!

I haven’t had a whole lot of free time lately. Between work, teaching classes, markets, ritual, walking to meet my step goal, and taking a moment here and there for myself… what was I talking about?

Oh right. I’ve finished one sweater coat, and started another. I have a costume to make for my son for Hekate’s Sickle Festival, and I’d really like to get at least one more sweater coat complete before the beginning of December, because we’re going to do a Christmas Market.

The challenge? Between now and then is Hekate’s Sickle Festival (there is still time to register…) and the Parliament of World Religions. I’m going to the Parliament of World Religions! I’m excited and nervous.

Regardless, I’m heading back to the cutting table and the sewing machine. Perhaps I’ll be more inspired to write next week…

Blessings,

Mary

Emotional Eating

This past week was an interesting one. Interesting as in let me crawl in my blanket fort and hide.

I experienced anxiety for the first time in ages. None of my usual coping mechanisms were working. I grounded. I worked on my shields. I breathed. I watched Netflix. I walked. In spite of being in the last week of my current Whole30, and not even really wanting sugar, I wanted junk food, and I wanted it BAD.

When I feel stressed, I eat. And you can tell the level of stress by the junk food that I eat. A little stress = chocolate. Moderate stress = chips and chocolate. High stress = Cool Ranch Doritos, Dr. Pepper, and peanut M&Ms. For the first time in over a year, I was at the Dr. Pepper and Doritos stress/anxiety level.

I’m committed to my Whole30, though. I wasn’t about to break the rules. And I had eaten a lovely lunch. I wasn’t even hungry. I sat in observation of myself, this craving that wasn’t coming from anything my body needed (not that it ever did NEED that crap).

It was distracting. (Isn’t that part of the problem with anxiety?) I couldn’t focus on work. Maybe I could go to the health food store around the corner and find some chocolate that wouldn’t break the rules. Though I knew that if I went out, I would end up with something less than healthy, and then I would feel guilty for giving in to junk.

I finally caved (kind of?) and ate some walnuts and dried apples, even though I wasn’t hungry. I’m glad I had a healthy option available. And I’m super proud of myself for not letting the craving get the better of me. I still ate my stress, but not nearly the same way I have in the past. Even better, I was able to observe my response, and make a choice rather than a reflex or habit response. It’s been quite the journey getting to this place, and I hope to continue the progress and move past this altogether.

Do you eat your emotions and stress, or do you starve them? How do you handle your cravings for things that aren’t good for you?

Blessings,

Mary

Healthy Habits

Content warning: diet speak, body speak

Habits and SnowThey say it takes 21 days to change a habit. And I definitely mean change a habit because you are almost always replacing one thing with something else. I’m busy replacing my old habit of eating sugar with eating more fruits and vegetables, and the habit of not exercising with going for walks.

The reason it takes 21 days is because you are creating new neural pathways. The first week is usually the most difficult, because forging the new pathway is like trudging through deep snow. It is hard work! And why would you want to cut a path through the deep snow, when there is a plowed walkway right over there?

The second week is a little easier. Now you’ve got a walkway started. It’s pretty narrow, and maybe the snowdrifts will still cover it up. The snow has continued falling and is starting to fill the old pathway, though it would still be easy to clear if you went back to it.

By the third week, the old pathway is really getting snowed in. You can still make it out, and the snow isn’t quite as packed in as the areas around it. The new pathway is definitely clearer now. Just a little more effort, and it becomes as easy to walk as the old one was when you started.

In theory, anyway. Some habits are tougher to “snow in” than others. For some habits, like sugar for example, your body and brain will pick up like you never left. I thought I had it under control, and before I knew it, sugar was ruling my life.

I’m just past the 21 day mark on the food habits, and just past 14 days on the walking habit. I had quite the interesting conversation with myself on my walk last night.

I *want* to make this change. I enjoy feeling healthier, and having more energy, and less pain. I enjoy my hands smooth and my skin clear. I would love to release some extra weight (never lose weight, because losing things is bad – psychology), not because I want to fit any beauty standards or BMI bull. Releasing weight means less inflammation and pain. It means more energy, and feeling more alive.

I feel like I’m committed to these choices in a way I haven’t been before. Now that I’ve made it two weeks hitting my step goal, I’ve increased it to keep stretching myself. It’s not much more, another 500 steps. Yet I have to work a little harder to get there. Tracking my progress also keeps me focused. The more days I achieve the goal in a row, the more motivated I am to keep up the momentum.

I’m looking forward to measuring my body and seeing the results there. It is strangely harder this time than it was last time. I want to see my progress, even though I am seeing progress in other areas.

Here’s to building, and maintaining, healthy habits.

Blessings,

Mary

Half Way There

Today is Day 16 of my current Whole30. I’m half-way through! I have to say, I’m struggling a bit more this time. Part of it is because I didn’t make a big pot of stew that I could turn to for lunches. And part of it is because I’ve removed a few more foods from my diet since the last time I did the Whole30. No more throwing some eggs on when I’m hungry – they are on my inflammatory foods list. And part of it, if I am honest with myself, is because I thought I could breeze through it.

Halfway signI’ve stretched the line twice so far – both times with soy. I know it is not Whole30 compliant, and I also know from my previous round that soy isn’t really a food that bothers me. I’ve been very strict about sugar though, and that is the one that is more important as far as I am concerned. At least for this body, it is.

I haven’t taken any measurements since starting, because the rules say not to. And as much as slimming down is wonderful, it’s not the main objective. I was a slave to sugar, and I need to reset from that. My body is my temple, and I was not treating it that way.

To that end, I’ve also started making my step goal a priority. I’ve hit it for nine days straight so far, which is really an accomplishment for me. It means that I have had to go for walks in my neighborhood when I didn’t move enough the rest of the day, like yesterday.

Yesterday was a sedentary day. Because I had the day off (thank you to my Union brothers and sisters), I took my time getting up, and worked on a sweater coat most of the day. Looking at my watch at twilight, I realized I had to go for a fairly long walk to make my goal. I didn’t want to. I really just wanted to get ready for bed. But I put my shoes on, and out I went.

Some days, I have just barely hit the target, taking one more walk around the house before going to bed to get the last few steps in. Other days, I’ve been well above 6500 steps. Not enough yet to raise the goal. I want to keep the consistency going first.

If I want to heal myself, I know that eating well and exercising are important. And I have to take baby steps, small changes over time add up to a big difference. If I try to do too much at once, it will be overwhelming, and I will stop again.

Here’s to building consistency.

Blessings,

Mary