Tuesday, August 7, 2007

How Much do I put on my Plate- Literally?

So in the last couple of weeks I've had some great conversations with my nutritionist and my therapist that have really helped me take a look at the quantity of stuff in my life and also examine the pace with which I'm moving.

I talked with my nutritionist last week about my "episode"...you know, the one I ratted myself out on when I ate with abandon, without thinking, without caring and then just one day snapped out of it? Yeah, that one. We talked a lot about what led up to it and I came to the conclusion that it was just because. Because the food tasted good. Because I stopped thinking. Because I was hungry. Because I was cranky. Because I was tired. Because I was moody. Because the food was going to make me feel better. Because because because.

The great thing about this path that I've chosen to take, the one where I work with a nutritionist and a therapist, is that they don't let you get away with that bullshit.

So we dug a little deeper. Why did I feel that way? Why was I tired, cranky, hungry, moody, whatever? I said I ate the way I did because my twin did. After her England gig fell through, she was sad and stressed, and I felt all those things right there alongside her. So I had to help her cope. And we do that with food.

Dig deeper.

It was a long week. I had started the week out with my Monday night completely rearranging my entire living room, dining room and workspace. And as if that wasn't enough, I had to rewire the DSL, the two phone lines AND untangle the DVD player, the tivo, the TV, the record player, the receiver and the cable box. By the time I was done with all that, and putting everything back in its place, it was 330am.

At the end of this week I have:
1. Gone to drag queen bingo to support a co-worker.
2. Hosted another co-worker at my house for lunch and an afternoon of working together.
3. Gone out to dinner with a friend to help celebrate his birthday.
4. Painted two different rooms in my apartment.
5. Bought a new dining room table AND put it together.
6. Made an airport run.

I have NOT:
1. Made the time to eat well at all or to have healthful, nutritious food in the apartment.
2. Worked out at all during the week.
3. Taken any time to relax, sit on the couch or do nothing.
4. Put myself and my own needs before anything or anyone else.

So what do I do? Because I have so much on my plate, so many things going on, so many different directions that I'm running in (all of my own doing) and being pulled in (because I can't or won't say no), the last thing I can do is fit in taking the time that I know is necessary to make thoughtful and respectful decisions so that I eat healthfully and feel good about myself.

Taking care of myself is really hard. And while it doesn't seem like it should be this difficult, like I should have to concentrate so much on making the right decisions for me...the truth is, that's exactly what it takes for me. I need the peace and quiet in my mind and in my life to be able to make the right decisions. I need to be able to hear myself think so that I can have a conversation with myself about why I'm doing something.

So I've been relaxing and taking it easy and not having every f'n minute of my life planned out. And you know what, it's kinda nice. I kinda like it! Last week I had only one night actually planned, with someone set in stone. Every other night was wide open. I didn't have to rush to be anywhere. I didn't have to entertain a bunch of people (except for that one night, and that was so much fun!). I didn't have to get stressed and anxious about how little time I had to myself or to just sit on the couch. As a result I ate very well, I took care of myself, I worked out five times (three runs last week!), I was less stressed, less anxious and very relaxed.

The question came up in my last session with mu nutritionist, "how much do I put on my plate- literally?" I'd like to think that for the most part I've got this under control as far as the food side of things go. In every other aspect of my life, this is something that is totally out of control. I have too much piled on my plate. And now I know that when that happens, I'm the last person I think of and I'm the last person who gets taken care of.

I'm interested to see how taking more things off my plate helps me take better care of myself. Because when I had that conversation last week, a little light came on and I could recount that the times when I was stressed and anxious because I was trying to do too much, trying to put too much on my plate, is when I start to check out.

So here's to me trying to not put too much on my plate- literally!


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