Intuitive Eating

I’ve spent a good portion of my Thanksgiving Break, not necessarily catching up on homework but powering through this book, Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. If only I’d have discovered this book at 16!

I don’t really feel like getting into it but it’s been a fascinating journey, to say the least. Fascinating, and enlightening.

It’s inspired me to 1. Stop posting about food— probably, no one cares, and definitely, it’s not helping me form a healthier relationship with food. Exceptions to this might be meals I cook up that I’m especially proud of and that happen to be particularly photogenic. Like tonight’s dinner, for example 🙂

 Sweet potato burger on whole grain flax toast, with caramelized onions, kale, and homemade hummus. Anyway, onto

2. Stop posting about exercise, with the exception of my running log, which I will maintain simply to track my progress because I’m interested, and which I will probably keep to the basics, including only major milestones or moments of actual interest. What I do or do not eat before or after is probably of little interest and definitely not making me feel better about life.

3. Up my carbohydrate intake– I know I just said that I will stop posting about food, but I realize that I have been neurotically obsessed with my carbohydrate intake– I even ate a black bean burger the other day, and ate it with a fork, because I was afraid of the carbohydrates in the bun.

Anyway, point being, if I’m going to be running, guess what? I’m going to need more carbohydrates. According to a chart in this book, two miles of running requires approximately three slices of bread– whether or not that’s accurate for my body type, I have been craving carbs more since I’ve been running more, and I need to honor those cravings, not suppress them. I’m actually harming my metabolism and muscle-forming process by restricting them!

Like I said, the book is too good and too long to go into at this point, but I’m going to post the “Intuitive Eating Bill of Rights” so it’s quick and accessible for me.

1. You have the right to savor your meal, without cajoling or judgment, and without discussion of calories eaten or the amount of exercise needed to burn off said calories. 

This means taking time out of the day to eat. More on my distaste for the pace of life expected for adults in this country later……

2. You have the right to enjoy second servings without apology.

3. You have the right to honor your fullness, even if that means saying “no, thank you,” without explanation, to dessert or a second helping of food. 

This will be especially important for me to remember when I’m visiting my grandparents next month…..I, for a long period of my life, blamed my grandmother for my chronically distorted relationship with food. More on that later!

4. You have the right to stick to your original answer of “no,” even if you are asked multiple times. Just calmly and politely repeat, “No, thank you, really.” 

Love how they thought to repeat this right 🙂

5. It is not your responsibility to make someone happy by overeating, even if it took hours to prepare a specialty dish.

Good for couples 🙂

6. You have the right to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast (or cereal for dinner!), regardless of judgmental comments or rolled eyes.

am in control of the bacon, as my house mate joked the other day. I had cereal drizzled with my home made walnut butter for lunch today, and a brownie to boot. Okay, I know I’m not supposed to be posting about food anymore, but that just goes to show you. Eat what you want when you want it, and fuck arbitrary societal cues 🙂

While I’m at it, I might as well list out the Ten Principles of Intuitive Eating, also for easy access.

1. Reject the Diet Mentality

2. Honor Your Hunger

3. Make Peace With Food

4. Challenge the Food Police

5. Feel Your Fullness 

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor 

7. Cope With Your Emotions Without Using Food

8. Respect Your Body

9. Exercise– Feel the Difference (between calorie burning and feeling good)

10. Honor Your HealthGentle Nutrition

You know, I may or may not walk through my own steps on this blog. But that would contradict my previous statement to stop posting about food. We’ll see.

Back to reading this book, then off work at 9:30, then home to dinner, homework, and sleep!

Advertisements

On Holidays (and Dreams)

I’ve been having some wild dreams lately, and some have been worth mention, if I could only justify allotting the time. That, and simply not having the proper environment…January can’t come soon enough.

Yesterday, I got a text message from a friend which I think was well-intentioned but managed to upset me at the core of my being anyway. I tried to rationalize it in my head, first by trying to accept the “compliment” I think he meant, and when that failed, writing it off as drunken sensitivity and figuring I would probably care less in the morning (and knowing that of course, I still would.) I don’t particularly like when this happens, because when the core of my being is upset by anything someone might say to me, I start to question my entire relationship with that person. If that sounds dramatic, it’s because it probably is, but my relationships are near and dear to me because I choose to engage and work toward developing so few, so it’s a two-way insult when someone upsets me– they’re not only upsetting me by speaking aloud their train of thought in question, but they’re insulting me, too, because by not living up to the standards to which I hold them and their character, they remind me that I must be a terrible judge of character after all, and how foolish have I been and —stop. Come back.

It’s hard to be my friend, and I know this, and this is part of why I try to subscribe to the whole “what other people think about you isn’t your business.” mode of living– someone’s company speaks volumes enough, so why bother going into specifics? I personally try to avoid specifics, but he gave me a specific and it upset the core of my being and now I don’t know what to think. Thank goodness for my dreams 🙂

I talk to myself in my dreams and I teach myself valuable life lessons. <– the log line for an experimental short, maybe, but also a truth I am proud to wear. In my dreams, I confronted the culprit (my friend) and he reacted exactly as I would expect him too, questioning why I was upset by that and what he meant was X but he’s sorry I took it that way and yatta yatta. He ended by telling me that he could say X about me and that he loved Y, as well, but that he didn’t want my confidence and security to have to come from him. What a beautiful truth! It is exactly what I would say to a friend in my own position and frame of mind, and apparently, it’s what I would say to myself, as well. Go sleep, go subconscious, go mind and spirit connectivity. If I could only enhance my mind-body connection..

Anyway, long story short, I’m still slightly upset with my friend and I may or may not be over it by the time I see him again, but either way, he is (or I am) right, no one is responsible for your confidence and sense of security but you and nothing anyone says or does is going to make any hoot of a difference until the thought pattern within transforms itself.

Onto Thanksgiving and the holidays:

Since I came to college, I haven’t had much taste. “Home” completely blew up in my face just after I left for college, I don’t need to go into more detail than that. A brief history of my past four Thanksgivings:

2009: I volunteered to feed the homeless at a shelter downtown. Honestly, I needed the hours to complete a service learning assignment, but I didn’t really have anywhere else to go, either. I could have spent it with my roommate’s family, but I wanted the room to myself for the weekend. I volunteered alongside a family, and I remember thinking it was neat that those parents were teaching their kids good service. I also started to wonder how the rest of Seattle proper felt about Seattle U students taking over Capitol Hill, and what assumptions people made about me when I told them who I was, where I was from, and what I was doing in Seattle.

2010: My friend JJ and I cooked made a giant mess in the Chardin kitchen. I tried to make my mom’s old stuffing recipe, and I think it sort of panned out. I feel like stuffed celery was also involved. We definitely ended the night with my friend Megan’s mac and cheese recipe, a box of Kraft (ew) with sour cream, salsa, and Red Hot sauce mixed in. Sounds disgusting, because it is disgusting. Apparently, this was the first time my friend had broken vegan in over a year. Oops. Sorry. So glad I don’t eat processed food like that anymore 🙂

2011: Last year we had a beautiful vegan Thanksgiving. We started the day with Mimosas (thanks to Marci) and throughout the day, ate a beautiful vegan parfait, a tofu scramble (both more thanks to Marci) and stuffing provided by me. The stuffing was a success this year! Mushrooms, celery, water chestnuts…never fails 🙂 I made more stuffed celery, and I know my other roommates cooked up some things as well, but I don’t remember…I ended up inviting my co-worker and his buddy over, since they lived down the street and had no where to go. We for some unknown reason decided to shot gun a bunch of beers, and I ended up getting wasted and making some interesting decisions. Overall, one of the best Thanksgivings I’ve had. Here’s a picture to prove it 🙂 Image

2012: I was the first to wake up in my house, as usual, so spent my morning talking on the phone with my Grandmother and making Maple Cinnamon Walnut Butter and a Lentil Walnut Loaf Cake

Image

Together, mom and I made Green Bean Casserole, she put a spahgetti squash in the oven, she mashed up some potatoes, and we made our usual stuffing, which was only okay this time around. We talked in depth about the family history while cooking, and the conversation was intense but interesting. Ryan brought down a pumpkin pie which had been mailed to him anonymously, and Sophie mashed up some sweet potatoes. Jenna made stuffed mushrooms and spanikopita (Spanish Coconut for those who can’t pronounce it.) By the time we were getting ready to sit down, I was so full from the snacking while cooking 🙂 We were just talking about past Thanksgivings and the fact that there are always traditional foods that everyone makes but no one actually likes, one of which was candied yams. Sophie’s friends arrived just in time, and what do you know, one of them proudly carried a platter of candied yams. Even she agreed that she never really liked them, just made them habitually. Someone else had some Green Bean Casserole, but mine was the one that got devoured throughout the evening, which was good for my cooking confidence, and Mom soon had to go home. She left on rather a dramatic note, which was upsetting. I took a nap for an hour (cooking is exhausting!) even though Sophie’s friends had just arrived, and when I went back downstairs, everyone was glued to their original positions at the table. I found this to be weird, but the conversation was lively enough, and four bottles of wine were being passed around. I joined the conversation, and the wine-drinking as well, and the night ended with dart throwing, hula hoop twirling, bicycles crashing, and the fire poker banging to the floor more than once.

Overall, it was a solid evening, and while I was upset about my mom, and my family in general, at that, I was able to enjoy myself, talk with people, and even make a potential video connection! I cooked more than one dish, and I cooked them well, and while our kitchen this morning makes me want to throw up, life’s gonna be alright 🙂

What is Normal, Anyway? Part 3

Going to actually finish this thing, then get back to some real posts 🙂 Again, I copied this from Madison’s blog, and preserved her meme ad-ins as well, because they were each of them so touching. And so cleverly placed, as well!

21. What is a common misconception that people have about you?

I have a few issues with this question. My main issue is simply, I really do try to live by the “what other people think about you is not your business” rule. As difficult as that can sometimes be. Anyway, I’m a pretty polarizing person, and I like to think the “cool” people get me. I don’t really care to ponder what my peers do or do not think about me but I know for sure I can come off as stuck up, judgmental, lower class, upper class, socially retarded, etc. etc. Some of these “misconceptions” are not misconceptions at all but honestly, if you do find your way into my circle, you’ve found yourself a loyal and devoted (if not always available or healthy) friend for life. At the same time, some of these “misconceptions” are indeed “misconceptions”, but I’m not going to waste my time proving it.

22. What is something no one can take away from you? 

Madison said it–my mind, more explicitly, my thoughts, my feelings, my experiences, my opinions, my ideas.

23. What is something that you would hate to go without for a day?

Water. But that’s primal. So maybe chap stick, or lotion, though I have done both (it isn’t pleasant…)

24. When you look into the past, what do you miss the most?

“Crawl back into bed to dream of a time where you loved things just because, like the sick, or the dying…” Jenny Lewis says it best, and Madison again touched on it. I miss being care free and “loving things just because.” More than that, I was more observant when I was younger, I put clues together more easily and intuitively. Now, I’m so clouded by stressors and fears and obsessions and worries, that I’m not always aware of what’s going on. When this happens, I sometimes feel like I’m two steps behind everyone else, though spiritually and experientially I feel light years beyond “everyone” else or at least, my peers….

<– totally did this, and still do sometimes.
25. What memory from the past year makes you smile the most? 
Sorry, but that’s private. Some things are private with me, and my smiles are definitely one of them.

26. What is the number one change you need to make in your life in the next 12 months?

I need to work on my organization. I need to be more financially responsible. I need to have a healthier relationship with food, my body, my appearance, etc. I need to exercise my creativity. Blah this list is growing rapidly but basically organization. Everything else will fall into place if I can work on enhancing that…..

27. If not now, then when? 

When I move into my new apartment? That’s in January. Excuse, I know, but seriously, I can’t be productive, creative, or clear-thinking until I can finally come home to a safe environment…….It’s been 21 years since I’ve had one of those, and I don’t care how hyperbolic that sounds, it’s the truth.

28. What have you done that you are truly proud of?

Survive. Not be my parents. Make it to college, do well in college. Screen one of my first films in a local festival. Love. Allow myself to be loved. Find my way. Keep going. Trust myself. Trust others. A lot of things, you know.

29. What is something new that you have recently learned about yourself?

I can run further and harder than I think. My body is stronger than I think. And did you know? Since I’m a woman, I have the ability to maintain my own life plus the life of a developing fetus inside of me for nine months in times of emergency or famine. Of course, evolutionarily, this makes perfect sense, but I had never really thought about it. Also, not to be sexist or encourage dichotomies, but men are less likely to be able to survive in like extenuating circumstances 🙂 Thought that was pretty neat. Go women.

30. What do you want to remember forever?

This falls into the category of “private.”

31. What could society do without?

My answer is similar to Madison’s — “The negative criticism of body image.” Expanding upon that, I make the bold statement that the world would be a better place could we abolish the concept of expectations. At least, expectations so far as physical attributes go. While I think that some traits are, in fact, objectively beautiful, as Donne says, no man is an island….Person y’s negative body image affects the greater scheme of the world just as your positive body image does, but why allow the two to cancel each other out? While person X with objectively beautiful figure should celebrate them self and their beauty, they should work also toward embodying celebratory personality traits, a celebratory intellect, celebratory productions or creations, etc. And Person X’s celebration regarding their objectively beautiful figure should never be cause for Person Y to mourn.

32. What is one thing, right now, that you are totally sure of?

I’m loved, and I’m going to be okay.

33. If you had the opportunity to get the message across to a lot of people, what would that message be?

You’re beautiful, you’re loved, and you’re going to be okay. And stop expecting things from other people, why set yourself up for disappointment 🙂

34. What is something you said you’d never do, but have since done? 

I said I’d never get lower than a C on anything, yet when I got my science test back….

35. What is something that you changed your mind about as you’ve grown older? What love is and isn’t, where I wish to live, what I wish to do…a lot of things, shockingly.

36. What didn’t last forever, but was still worth your while?

Past romances and/or friendships. Of course. I like to think of myself as a teacher of sorts, because I know most people I encounter end up learning a lot from me (if not factually, spiritually, emotionally, or intellectually, definitely.) On the flip side, I tend to attract people who in turn act as teachers of sorts for me. It’s a win-win situation and most tend to be sprinkled with good great times.

37. If you could go back in time and tell a younger version of yourself something, what would you tell? 

You are beautiful, and you’re going to be okay. You are loved, and you will find mature love. At the same time, you’re not the only one who’s hurting, so be careful what you say and do, because you never know the impact your words or actions might have on someone close to you. There’s a lot I would say, as I’m sure is the case for most people. That’s life, isn’t it?

38. If you were dying in 60 seconds, what would your last words be? 

Private. Honestly, I feel like these types of questions are misleading. What is the essence of a person? Can that be defined (or disputed) based on the arbitrary chunk of words that come out of their mouth in those final moments of their life? I could give you something “profound” that I would ideally utter as my last words, but I doubt it’d be a realistic representation of what would actually come out of my mouth. A person can’t be essentialized in a sentence, no matter what period of that person’s life said sentence is uttered.

39. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you have done?
What criteria would even measure that? I mean, objectively, at this point, probably yes. Speaking tangibly, and materialistically. But who’s judging? What factors are running in the background? I think there’s definitely something to be said about the things I’ve given to the people who matter to me, but maybe that’s just me.

40. What questions do you often ask yourself?

Why am I not more productive? What do I think? What am I trying to say? What do I actually think? Why can’t I ever arrive at a decision? Both sides have valid points, yes, but why for the life of me can’t I pick one?

Also, I agree with Madison–  “Why do I feel like I’m the only one going through some things? I realize I’m not, but it’s hard to remember that there are others out there just like me. No exceptions.”

Basically, everyone is struggling to some degree, even if their struggles are not necessarily your own. And whatever the worst thing that has happened to a given person is, that’s the worst thing that’s happened to them and it sucks. You’re not special or more singled out simply because your “worst thing” is more traumatic than their “worst thing.” Period, end of story.

Survey Part II :)

Getting a little bit post crazy again, and a little self-indulgent maybe, but my creativity has been dry lately and since I have about 3 papers to pump out by tomorrow…..one of them being an “instant expert” paper…I give you more of that “What is normal, anyways?” survey!

11. Who makes you feel good about yourself? I am super lucky to have an amazing support system full of beautiful, creative, and intelligent people who make me feel like a princess. It’s a small support system, but it’s a strong support system, and I’ll say it again, I am very lucky. As for specifics, these people include friends from high school who are scattered about the country but still important and very much integrated into my life, friends and lovers that I know in this city, and my sister.

12. What are the top three qualities you look for in a friend? Good question. I don’t “look” for anything necessarily, but I am quite picky when it comes to choosing friends. From an outsider’s perspective, it probably doesn’t make very much sense at all. Common threads my favorite people all seem to share (despite being so radically different from one another) are intuition, emotional intelligence, radical acceptance, independence, an interest in the arts, spontaneity, passion, a profound ability to “face adversity” <– hate that phrase but let’s just use it because it gets the point across. I could list more but that’s a strong enough base, I think.

13. What has the fear of failure stopped you from doing?Weird question — are you referring to at this point in my life now? Or in the past? In the past, fear of failure has stopped me from joining clubs, volunteering at places, auditioning for things, applying for things….Lately, it’s stopping me from making more films and writing more.

14. What is something you’ve always wanted since you were a kid? To be on my own in an amazing city with beautiful, creative, and intelligent people as my friends and the  security to pursue the things I wish to pursue. Sounds general, but I’m so ever changing that it almost has to be.

15. What stands between you and what you want? Money, core credits that I need to fulfill, time, guilt and obligations in regards to my family….those things 🙂 Hey, at least most of these are issues that will figure themselves out 🙂

16. What do you do when nothing else seems to make you happy? Sit in bed and listen to music. Drink hot cocoa. Watch a movie. Go for a long walk. Actually, going for a long walk does wonders for me. When I’m down, it’s very difficult for me to force myself out of it, so I usually just try to ride it out like I would were I to come down with a cold, or sprain my wrist, or something.

17. When did you first realize that life is short? Is this a question? It’s something I’ve always been aware of, but it’s also something that I’m never quite moved by until a significant amount of time goes by between one point in my life and another. It happens in that epiphonal moment where I realize how radically different my life is from my life at a specific point in time. Things that trigger this awareness are universal, I think, things like friends moving away, moving into a new house, going away for college, preparing to graduate from college, breaking your record in regards to your relationships and how long they do or don’t last….

18. What do you need to spend more time doing? I don’t like the phrases “you need to” or “you should” because I don’t like forcing things nor do I like obligations, but for my own good, I could pay more attention to managing my finances and budgeting (this includes actually paying my hospital bills…), I could actually start going to class regularly, and I could be spending far more time on my homework, on my weekly papers, on reading up about politics and the arts, etc……I need to read more, I need to watch more films, what are you trying to say!

19. What issues do you continuously refuse to confront?  Financial issues. I stick my head in the sand when it comes to that……..

20. What is that a lot of people do that you disagree with? Oh, good question. Anyone who knows me knows I’m always down for an opportunity to get preachy and moralistic 🙂 You know, the above meme sort of sums it up for me. People expect things. They expect things from other people, and more often than not, those expectations are completely unrealistic. It isn’t fair to the person acting as the “object” of one’s expectation, and it isn’t fair to the person expecting something. Shakespeare was right, it does lead to heartbreak, but it also leads to profound disappointment, conflict, tension, guilt, shame, and all sorts of negative emotions. The only thing I personally expect from any of my friends is that they are loving, supportive, and accepting of my individuality. And if it ever gets to a point where they can no longer fulfill any of those “expectations” honestly, I expect that they will walk out of my life in a mature, “let’s just live and let live” type of manner.

That’s all for today. I’m going to look at apartments today! Very excited. In fact, I’m going to be late in meeting my friend because I was doing this instead…One day I’m going to learn to be on time to things.

Minding Your Body-Image History

As I highlighted earlier, body-image has been on my mind lately. Not only because of group, though that is a reinforcing factor, but because my psyche seems to naturally be flocking in that direction (the healthy direction.) Every week, we discuss a particular topic, and our group facilitator emails us all supplementary readings to peruse (or not peruse) at our leisure. This week, she included a body-image history survey complete with affirmations. Perhaps it seems cheesy or unnecessary, but I’m going to fill it out for the world to hear (or not hear) because I think it will be a healthy thing for me to do and what else would I be doing while getting paid to sit in a room? (homework…cough) Going to throw out a trigger warning, just to be on the safe side, but here goes!

Examine your body-image history. Understanding your past can help you understand how your body image, or your mental picture of yourself, developed and why it is so difficult to accept. Fill in the blanks below.

As a child, I felt indifferent about my body. I described my body with words like: skinny, thin, lanky, scrawny, stick like, flat-chested, small, tiny, pot bellied, big stomach, little, slim, etc. 

As a teen, I felt self-concious about my body. I described my body with words like: chubby, thin, skinny, fat, huge, obese, pregnant, lanky, big stomach, skinny legs, flat-chested, side fat, back fat, overweight, fat stomach, pot bellied, small, ginormous, tall, flat butt, etc. 

As a young adult, I felt uncomfortable about my body. I described my body with words like: out of shape, fat, chubby, huge, obese, pregnant, short-waisted, jiggly, tall, leggy, small-breasted, curvy, stick-like, thin, ginormous, pig, hippo, overweight, weak, unfit, waifish, scrawny, etc. 

As an adult, I felt okay about my body. I described my body with words like:  leggy, medium-framed, fat, huge, thin, average, out of shape, flabby, curvy, short-waisted, tight butt, sexy, pregnant, small, unfit, lazy, etc. (perhaps I’m not quite an adult yet….)

At this moment, I feel okay about my body. I describe my body with words like: strong, energetic, nourished, smart, injured, average, bloated, short-waisted, curvy, sexy, strong legs, big bellied, fat stomach, tall, long-limbed, gazelle-like, etc. 

Growing up, my caregivers, friends, and family described my body with words like: too skinny, short-waisted, on the heavier side, long-legged, etc. 

My caregivers, friends, and family currently describe my body with words like: great, thin, small, curvy, perfect, tall, small-breasted, perfect, sexy

How does your view of yourself differ from how other people view you now and how they viewed you in the past? Clearly, my friends have a more positive image of me and my body than I do. Clearly, the friends I have now are more loving, positive, and supportive than past caregivers and/or family members have been.

Do you have difficulty “letting go” of your past identity or body image? 

Yes, I do. Mainly because I look back at my past “mes” and I remember the negative feelings, insecurities, and associations I had in regards to my body. And I think to myself, WHY didn’t you do more about it? You didn’t exercise enough, you didn’t read enough about nutrition, you didn’t educate yourself, etc. etc. This thought process even includes frightfully twisted “why didn’t yous”……. including (I hate to admit this) thoughts like, Why didn’t you starve yourself more? Why didn’t you start earlier?

Anyway, and basically,  I’ve been self-conscious about my stomach since I was about 8 years old — I always hated swimming simply because I didn’t want to have to wear a bathing suit. Things only got worse when my sister became a gymnast, and I started going to her gym meets, looking at all of the stick skinny girls, seeing her with her 8 pack, etc. I was never active as a child, I was always an “inside” kid and preferred reading to physical activity. I always felt like the “fat one” in the family, since my mom was always super thin. Sorry to talk numbers, but I remember buying a certain size of jeans when I was 11, and my mom telling me that she wore that size all throughout high school. I just remember thinking, “Wow, if Mom was this small as a teenager, and I’m this big just barely into my pre-teens, how huge of a person am I going to be????”

Middle school was just stupid. Regardless of that little voice in my head feeling a bit concerned about being “fat” when older, I knew deep down that I was actually thin. In fact, in middle school, my peers decided that I was so thin I must be anorexic. Cue in the bullying and the name calling, and the cheer leaders calling me anorexic despite my own thoughts that I was huge in comparison to them, I had a fat stomach where they had toned fitness, etc.  Middle school is also where I started eating more, because my grandmother started talking behind my back about how I wasted food and was too skinny. I started forcing myself to finish my plate, ate more junk food, etc…..

Things got a little bit ridiculous in high school where I experimented with various behaviors, some of them healthy but most of them not. No need to go into it…let’s just say, there’s about a 50 pound difference between my “high” weight and my “low” weight, and in high school, I was at any given point at my thinnest (and unhappiest) my heaviest (and also unhappiest), and my most fit (my happiest.) I became a vegetarian, I dabbled with drugs, I started messing with other dangerous behaviors…..I was sort of a hellish mess in high school, though nothing compared to my friends (one of them even got sent away to a girl’s recovery camp. my problems were nothing compared to that!)

Well, high school feels like ages ago, and I am now preparing to graduate college and am 21. I still struggle with food, body image, and keeping my behaviors under control. While I *know* that positive reinforcement and being kind to yourself is important, and I make an honest effort every day to be good to myself and love me, it’s way easier said than done. I didn’t intend for that question to ignite this mini rant/history but basically, body image history is hard to let go of because of my inability to accept the behaviors I did and did not partake in. Make sense? Yeah. It’s dumb. Moving on.

Similarly, people with body image issues make the mistake of thinking that bad eating behavior (mindless eating) equals bad person. Instead it would be helpful to think, “Accept myself, and tweak the mindless eating.” 

Wow, what wise words! Now, some pictures of my dinner/lunch from the past two days just as a breather from all the intense body-image discussion:

 

Dinner I cooked up with my friend Laura — Actually, she did all of the cooking while I sat there and chopped the kale but it’s cumin/cinnamon spiced and baked sweet potato/yam, carmelized onions, and sauteed kale over quinoa and French green lentils 🙂 Super clean. Super tasty. Cooking and communal eating should happen for everyone at least once daily.

Watching Laura cook so meticulously inspired me to do something similar for lunch the next day:

 

Baked sweet potato/yam spiced with curry powder and dill supplementing some sauteed curried tofu and broccoli 🙂 Now back to body image stuff…

Acceptance Exercise: accepting the gif

First, imagine that you are you are at your birthday party, and you have received a gift. It is exactly what you wanted. Picture what this would be (but be realistic.) Write down what this gift is. 

Can I make it known that I don’t really believe in birthday parties? I mean, if someone invites me to their birthday, I’ll go of course and I’ll be supportive of course. But personally, they feel like any other day to me….But that’s beside the point. The perfect birthday present. And I have to be realistic? Is that even in my vocabulary? My persona? Ahem……A 6 month stay in Europe is all that is on my mind lately. If someone could grant me that….That would make my life. BUT back to being realistic. Maybe a nicer food processor? A slow cooker? A nicer blender? Some good knives? A collection of nut butters? New brakes for my bike? A massage? A pedicure? The latter three, really. I’m not a girly girl at all, but my nails could definitely use some tender love and care….as for my bike, I currently ride a death trap.

Now, imagine that at your birthday party you are celebrating a friend’s birthday as well. You can’t keep this gift you love, because it was intended for your friend. An she has accidentally picked up the gift intended for you. You exchange it with her. Write down how it feels to let go of the gift you really wanted. 

Here’s the part where I start to wonder where this is going….and wow. I guess that depends on who the friend is, which gift it was (since I wrote down so many), etc. etc. Here’s the part where I stop qualifying these hypotheticals! Short answer: if the Europe trip was actually someone else’s, I would probably rage up with jealousy and envy..though I would be happy for my friend and wish them a mind-blowing experiencing. I would acknowledge that I probably just wasn’t meant to experience Europe at that point….If it was any of the kitchen items, I would simply tell them that we should make cooking dates a regular thing! If it was the bike or nail thing, I would shrug it off and realize that I’m okay as things are now, and I’ll be okay without it still.

The gift that was meant for you is something that you didn’t really want. Describe a gift you recently got that you didn’t really like. 

Okay, I know these questions are hypothetical, but seriously, does the writer of these questions know to whom they are speaking? It’s me. I don’t expect my friends to get me anything, ever. And when they do get me things, my friends are so amazing that they always get me something that is perfect for me as a person. I guess the last gift that I received that I did’t want was the non-functioning blender my mom gave me, and that’s because the damned thing doesn’t work…..That, or my dad gave me this Christian book that he wanted me to read…..

Consider what you could do with this gift. How would you make the gift fit into your life or be of use? For example, you might give the gift away. Maybe you hold on to the gift anyway in case it might come in handy someday. Write down what you could do with this imaginary gift. 

With the blender, I suppose I could excite my inner DIY and take it apart, trinketing with parts & wires like my mom’s crazy ex-boyfriend…I could keep playing with the cord as my mom tells me to do, to see if the thing could work….I could recycle it, or take it to a junk yard. As for the book — I guess I could read it, for a fresh perspective. I could sell it. I could donate it. I could leave it on someone’s porch, or I could burn it, or I could ……cut it up and make art out of the cut up pages.

Goal: Finding a use for a gift you don’t want can give you inspiration. You can use this example as a guide for how to think about accepting your body. Your body is a gift. You don’t always get the gift you want or ask for, but you can accept it graciously and make it work or fit into your life. 

Wow, now I feel like a giant asshole. Leave it to me to completely not get something, and miss the point entirely. Honestly, the parable is sort of weak. Not exactly very compelling. Not the strongest note with which to end this little exercise….though I’m glad I did complete it.

I guess the most profound thing (so profound) I can take from this is, just like my friends are all so amazing that any gift they might choose to grant me with would be perfect, not only for me generally but for me at that particular point in time specifically, so my body is perfect for me and my designated life path whatever that may be! 🙂 K going to go vomit over my own profundity 🙂 Have a good day.

Silly Saturday because I can’t think of a better acronym.

Yesterday, in my body image / eating concerns group we discussed …. body image, believe it or not. We discussed the media, the problems with the BMI system, the non-existence of most “women” seen in advertisements, etc. We watched some videos from the Dove Campaign and we listed out the traits we associate with “super models” and the life qualities they seem to embody through advertisement. Through these lists, we were able to illuminate the false correlation between being “model esque” and happy, successful, loved, etc. Not to mention, the (lack of) relevance being intelligent, creative, kind-hearted, or productive seems to have on the lives of these so-called “perfect” women. There were four of us present today, five including our therapist, and it was raw, it was rough, it was rewarding.

I don’t really feel like going over it, honestly. While I’ve been working really hard at keeping my own behaviors under control, I have good days, I have bad days, I have days where I’m not concerned about it at all….Lately, my body image seems stuck in the simply “alright” category, paired with much hounding over how little of my time I’ve been devoting to exercising. I was doing an hour of Pilates four-five days a week just last month. Now I run twice a week, on a good week.

That isn’t even the point. Honestly, I’ve been self-conscious not necessarily about my looks (though, more and more every day I try to minimize the amount of times I have to look into a mirror), I haven’t stepped on the scale in weeks (I’m afraid to, and there isn’t much point, anyway.) Instead, I’ve been concerned with my so-called “eccentric” personality and habits. I don’t think I’m an ill-mannered person, I think I have some degree of social awareness, but there are days when I feel judged by persons making up my surroundings, not only on campus but in the greater Seattle area….A friend told me the other day that he “would have gotten bored of me weeks ago, except for the fact that nothing I do is normal.” Sometimes, I really do feel like I’m from a different planet, and that should be and is a good thing, I must believe that, but it can’t be a great thing until I learn to not only embrace it but harness it for good and creative ends as well.

Now, I know virtually everyone is absurd in their own way, we’re all unique, and defining “normal” is as futile a task as intelligent discussion with Todd Akin probably is. I don’t mean this to be a pity party, but living in this city is just such a weird thing for me, still. I I feel like I still have much of the Las Vegas lingo ingrained into my personality and my shoes are falling apart, yet I go to Seattle University and have a 3.8 GPA.  I drink my water out of a mason jar and shop at the central coop yet I can’t sing along to every Nirvana song that’s ever been written, nor could I tell you the first thing about the latest musical trends as seen on Pitchfork. I hang out at the Northwest Film Forum yet I’ve never seen The Godfather all the way through, and I have a talent for all things writing yet only learned to pronounce the word “succumb” about a year ago.

I know everyone struggles with these day to day nuances of fitting in yet maintaining individuality and keeping up yet honestly assessing one’s own interests, strengths and weaknesses. I get it, these things are not unique to me and yet …. I’m so radically honest, I don’t want to play “the game”, I’m painfully self-aware and independent to the point where I not only isolate myself too much but refuse to keep up with trends for the sake of impressing you in conversation. At the same time, I have a profound need to outdo you in conversation. I can’t relate to my peers, yet I’m too young for the older crowd because apparently, people from the older crowd don’t even expect me to know Fleetwood Mac.

Sometimes, I just feel like I can’t win and that I might actually sprout wings, horns, or turn green, or something. I’ve been bullied for being “weird” since elementary school, and maybe I should just accept that that isn’t really something that just stops, no matter how “mature” or “old” or “enlightened” the rest of the world supposedly grows. Not to mention, I’m an individual, right? I give zero hoots what other people think, right? I’m friends with fascinating, dynamic, and ethereal individuals who love me simply because I’m such a nutter, yet that isn’t always enough and I still can’t quite figure out how it all makes sense … being so unconcerned with what other people think on the one hand; being so painfully upset by the slightest instance of rejection or even off-putting behavior directed your way on the other. Even when said behaviors come from people you neither admire nor even respect! In some (many) cases.

Some self-love seems to be in order, before this little “I’m too strange for the world” crisis of mine spirals out of my control. I really am trying to come to terms with all things “Dalyce.” I took this from Madison (Eating 4 Balance) and really appreciated most of the media she included, so I’ve preserved that as well. Madison, if you ever read this, I hope you don’t mind!

What is normal anyways?

1. What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago? I can engage in a conversation that begins with my least favorite question, “What do you do?” Sounds elementary, but I used to abhor this question (still do in a lot of ways, but I’m learning to embrace it as a part of reality.) Not only that, but though it’s still a struggle, I can even participate in this conversation without self-deprecating, and I’m on my way to figuring out how I can do this without revealing too many negatives about my past and up-bringing.

2. What has been on your mind most lately? Europe. Nebraska. Politics. Individuality. Romance. Writing. Possibility. How people connect. How people don’t connect. How I’m probably from Titan. How I’m not actually. How I’m restless and dreamy as ever and lately, and how I want to be anywhere but here.

3. Right now, at this moment, what do you want most? To be finished with school, to be a paid and valued copy editor on some book / website / blog / newsletter related to the arts, to live in a more ideally located apartment with my best friend, to know how to speak French, to move to Europe, etc. etc. etc.

4. In order of importance, how would you rank: happiness, money, love, health, fame?Health, love, happiness, money, fame. If that feels like a strange order, here’s my reasoning: There is no happiness without love, and no love without health. Money is, unfortunately, often required for health, but it is not a good thing in and of itself, and fame would just stress me the fuck out.

5. What word best describes how you’ve spent the last month of your life? Avoiding. <– going to keep Madison’s answer, unfortunately this is true for me, too.

6. What is the number one motivator in your life right now? Knowing that I have love and support in my life, and that while I may go through elongated struggles, I’m going to graduate soon, I’m going to find a fulfilling job, I’m going to be able to travel, I’m going to learn to harness my creativity and make documentary films and I will get healthy and fit and run marathons and climb mountains and everything’s going to be okay.

7. In one sentence, who are you? I am Dalyce — radically honest, profoundly independent, painfully self-aware, deeply but secretly loving, frustratingly inconsistent, and incomparably passionate though only in waves.

8. What do you want to be known for? Being real, being wise, being understanding.

9. If you had to move 300 miles away, what would you miss the most? Everything about this city is breath-taking and amazing to me, so I would miss the city itself. Other than that, there are definitely one to two humans from whom I really don’t wish to part…..

10. In one year from today, how do you think your life will be different? If you know me at all, you know I resent the thought of projecting or expecting anything about the future, the future to me meaning what I may or may not be eating for dinner this evening. So, keeping true to that but while attempting to remain hopeful and optimistic, let’s say I’ll live in a more ideal situation, I’ll be more fit, I’ll have a healthier relationship with my self and with food, I’ll be a better cook, and I’ll be writing / copy-editing consistently.

Okay, I think that’s all for now. This survey is considerably longer, and I’ll probably fill out the rest at some point because it’s important that I maintain constantly that sense of who I am, what I think, what I want, where I’ve come from, where I intend to go, etc. etc. and while some of these questions may or may not feel generic, they’re exercises and it helps. Off for a run and a mini trip to the grocery store, have a great day. I leave you with one of my favorite songs, though do note it’s not my favorite performance of the thing. 

Remember to reconstruct (MIMM?)

Remember, remember, the fifth of November….

I wonder how many of today’s blog posts open with this old poem? On past November 5ths? In past articles, editorials, and asides? Past conversations? I know for certain that on November 5, 2010, this poem sparked a conversation.

Oh, Brandon & the old MPC crew. How it’s changed. How it hasn’t. The youthful, innovative if not always pungent or pleasing energies of B, Br, and S are long gone. Like I say, they were not always the most inviting or constructive of humans (Br in particular) but they sure were (are) great minds full of creative insights and tail spins.

Speaking of great minds, I have one of those, too. Why can’t I let myself believe this? Why can’t I tap into it? Because I can’t believe it. I cannot create until I can believe.

What types of work do I aim to create?

What do I want in general?

Seriously. What types of humans do I wish to attract into my life? How can I embody like traits? 

D&M had “nothing but good things to say about me” and I guess impressions matter.

G says I’m “at the level”, A, he sees it, too. R saw it, C has always seen it, and my professors see it, though they say I’m inconsistent.

Stop. These are all men. Why should my worth be so dictated by men and what they do or do not see in me?

Danny once told me that “Children are meant to be seen and not heard.” I didn’t like that. I didn’t like that at all.

Which women have seen my worth? Did it affect me? In my younger days, it did. Ms. Justice. Ms. Huntly. Ms Tompkin. Mrs. Prock. I’m noticing that women were the prominent shapers of my self-perceptions and confidence levels while growing up. Now that I’m (supposed to be) grown up, I’m realizing it derives more and more every day from how I can (or cannot) relate to men.

Sharon Cumberland saw my worth and told me, “You have a great mind.” But women keep their distance. Or do they? I don’t think I have much trust for women. I have a few female friends in this city toward whom I feel trust and comfort, and maybe a few more scattered throughout the country, but other than that, when it comes to women, I am quite cold if not closed off entirely. Actually, I’m like that toward most humans in general, regardless of their parts, but it’s especially bad with women, because with men, I can at least flirt with them and I hate to admit that out loud and on this blog but it’s true and I shouldn’t deny it.

Gender dynamics and alarming anti-feminist implications aside, back to my developmental exercises.

What is the crowd of humans of which I wish to be apart?

Which humans make it up? 

Who are these people, I mean to say, and what defines them?

People are multi-faceted. I know how to relate to people on a personal level, but I want to be a part of something that is bigger than that. Feelings are important and I value all of my relationships but the world is bigger than the sum of its individuals and my being is bigger than the sum of my feelings and how can I harness my energy and be a part of this bigger thing?

What do I wish to be a part of? I’m doing it again. I’m talking in circles.

I dread even attempting answers at these questions because I don’t wish to put more stress on myself but let’s list some common sense answers (trite as those feel.)

I can work toward:

  • Watching and knowing more films, reading and knowing more literary works, experiencing and knowing more local displays of art, reading and knowing more history
  • Volunteering at more non-profits (and committing…)
  • Keep up with current events and have my own opinion
  • Be interested in other people’s work
  • Be interested and aware. Period.
  • Ask questions

Be interested.

I’m “at the level”, that was never a concern. But I lack the substance to back it. The mold, the concrete, the fudgy insides, call it what you want.

What is substance? Knowledge? Boldly stated opinions? One’s ability to face adversity? Concrete understanding. Rich understanding. Understanding through all of your faculties (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual.)

I wish to be attentive, aware, and articulate all of the times about all of the art forms.

Only then can I truly begin my own creative process. And once that happens, we arrive at more questions….

What type of art do I wish to create? 

Am I an artist? Can I even claim that label?

I have a voice, surely. I have presence, absolutely. But is that enough?

Assuming that it is, how do I constructively harness it?

What do I wish to make?

What am I trying to say? 

Is what I wish to say even relevant?

Do politicians actually  believe the statements they make? I find it hard to believe that Mitt Romney truly disbelieves in the concept of global warming. 

What am I trying to say?

What do I believe? 

That’s what I did during my 9:40 class. I would apologize for my lack of attention but I’m sick of being conscientious. A friend of mine told me that I was rather conscientious. I already knew this, of course, because I’m conscientious. And he told me that it’s not necessarily a good thing. Not to say he was trying to criticize, but he told me he thinks it’s a direct result of someone with an unpredictable parent. Which makes sense, in a way. With an unpredictable parent(s) or environment, you’re forced to be perpetually at the ready and able to act accordingly.

These are my thoughts and this is a process and I don’t know where that leaves me but I can feel myself changing and I can feel myself growing and the sadness I felt seems to be making its rounds amongst my friends and I hope they’re okay I wish I could just hold and comfort and love, love love all of them but I don’t have the time and neither do they and I’m not sure how to feel about that but we’re all going to be okay.

Question of the day: Any developing artists reading this, or developing humans in general, I invite you to answer any or all of the questions asked above! I’d love to hear your perspective on things, as well as get a feel for your own current state of development.

Fitness Friday rolls in November! (As If)

Just kidding. Except not really. This week has hardly been about fitness. Which is unfortunate. I’ve hardly slept in three days, and my exercise has consisted of a few warm-up Pilates moves, walking to campus, biking around, walking from the grocery store, you know. I did go for a run this past Monday but other than that, it’s been a pretty rough week, mostly because I haven’t slept but also because it was my “mid-terms” week and also because I haven’t been dealing with stress in quite the healthiest of ways.

Moving on. October is over, I can hardly believe it’s November. What a month! I screened a film in a festival, became obsessed with Pilates, became unobsessed (but still interested) in Pilates, became addicted to Green Monsters, decided to start training for marathon-racing, turned in more late assignments than I’ve ever turned in in my life, missed more classes than I’ve missed in my college career, quit smoking, rekindled my love for writing, rekindled confidence in my voice and my writing, watched a lot of Hitchcock, kicked a fever, kicked a wave of depression, kicked a bunch of leaves, had epic kitchen failures, had epic kitchen successes, started blogging again, decided to join a food / eating concerns / body image-themed therapy group, thought about how I’m going to market myself for post-graduation jobs, gained more encouragement in regards to my writing, baked a ton, spent all my money on groceries, joined the Central Coop, and most recently, decided to start making steps at changing my living arrangements.

Long list. I also spent my Halloween in a real haunted hotel. Okay, I don’t know if it’s actually haunted but they say it is and it is sure filled with history and haunted with memory if not ghosts. A friend of mine was screening a film he’d shot at said hotel, and I stopped by after my long twelve-hour day to not only support but also to indulge my childhood fascination with haunted houses, my thoughts on manufactured frights vs. real life hauntings, and to hear some bites of history I just knew he’d be able to provide.

November Goals (Short-List Because I’m Brain Dead) 

1. Run at least 3 times a week! My first week of “training” has sort of been a failure.

2. Do Pilates (1 hour, at least!) at least twice a week.

3. Learn to budget, budget, budget. Just because I stopped smoking and cut back on drinking does not mean I can spend every penny I earn on expensive groceries…..

4. Find a way to stay engaged in my school work and carry this quarter through with a strong finish despite a rocky start.

5. Stop over-eating! Stop obsessing! Eat slowly! Eating is sacred!

6. But still eat.

7. Bake for people.

8. blah. get sleep.

9. Research apartments and hopefully finalize the move / find a replacement for my current situation!

I’m realizing this post has no focus but my brain, honestly, has no focus right now. The main things on my mind are 1. food / eating concerns / body image group and 2. my decision to consider moving

On group: I’d like to post a reflection / illustration piece that gets at the core of my first experience with this but I’m not sure how to do that without breaking anonymity / keeping true to positivity. Not that I had a bad first experience, I definitely didn’t. But when I can figure out a healthy way to convey this, expect that soon.

One thing I will share — one of the group rules is no eating, for obvious reasons, and of course, what happens to me, my stomach starts growling about halfway through the thing, so awkward, I hope I didn’t trigger anyone, God. My stomach hasn’t growled like that since high school when I was sitting next to a guy in history class who I thought was sort of attractive. or something. Stomachs never growl unless you’re in a room full of people and everyone’s really quiet. Didn’t you know that?

On moving: I’ve finally come to terms to the reality that my living arrangements are no longer ideal. To say nothing against any of my house mates, I feel I’m able to be neither as happy nor as healthy as I’d like to be so long as I continue to live as such. I’ve been suppressing these types of thoughts for some time now, because I really can’t afford to live anywhere else, plus, I’m comfortable with everyone, plus moving sucks, anyway, but I faced it head on the other day. I (thankfully) already have someone who’s also looking for a place and I think we could make it work. Hopefully everything goes according to plan, if they do, ideally, I’ll be able to make moving a reality by January at the latest. Apartment living, here I come! (so, I hope.)

Why am I posting when I can hardly think? I do not know. I leave you with this.

Question of the day: What’s your best “my stomach is growling and this is quite awkward” story? The best thing about this experience is, I know it happens to everyone occasionally, as do most “embarrassing” things that I only think happen to me and me exclusively, because we’re all human and it’s sort of beautiful how much we have in common despite being so utterly, often painfully, different.