When the feeling of worthlessness come up in me I stuff them down and if I can I’ll stuff my face. For a long time whenever I’ve felt sad or angry I would find something delicious to eat. I would spend an hour in the kitchen baking up a storm and I’d gain satisfaction from being able to eat something yummy. Sugar was my crack and it wrecked havoc on my mind and body. The feelings would be regaled to the background waiting to come up through me in a different way. Everything would be alright again. At least for the time that I was eating. Then I would be sad, lonely and distressed again.
When you held yourself as tightly as I have for years, your body literally feels like a prison. Some days I feel like I am trapped under a past that I can longer change but, shadows my every step. I’ve spent a lifetime taking care of other people that I feel guilty about taking care of myself. But, my body demands that I take a closer look. With my arms, back and stomach covered in psoriasis taking care never seemed more important. I believe that my body is a reflection of my thoughts. It’s an empowering belief but, one that makes me want to hide from the responsibility. I’ve never really had anyone to take care of my needs. Sure, I was clean and beautifully dressed but, that was pretty much it. All that matters in my family. As long as you can eat and your hair and clothes are perfect then all is good. Except all is not good. I have floods of emotions that are undealt with. It’s a reflex now. A habit. Something sad or uncomfortable happens to mean and in that moment my body tells me that it’s wrong. However, in my head I am unable to take the steps to defend me or to say that you’re hurting me. I find it hard to explain to someone that what they are doing is upsetting me. I stumble over words and I gloss it over. I feel scared to be angry and yet, I hold so much anger inside me. I’m confused as to what my emotional needs are. It’s a flurry of activity in my heart and I’m angry that I was not taught how to take care of it and needs.
I don’t know what the solution is. My diet is so strict now that there is not much to comfort eat with so in some ways having psoriasis is a blessing as I’m forced to consider why I’m craving this or that. When I first began my psoriasis diet I had hoped that I would be cured pretty quickly. One so that I could sleep and two so that my skin would not be so painful. 6 months down the line my skin is slowly healing and the rest of my body. I realise that if I had been cured within a a few weeks there was a distinct possibility that I would have gone back to my old ways. I no longer have intense cravings for sugar and I need less food. The main benefit is that I cannot comfort eat. I’m not sure if it’s that I’m now in a place that I refuse to comfort eat or it’s just the fact that eating 10 carrots is not as appealing as a large slice of cake. The reason is important but regardless of it, anything that pushes me to consider the emotional links that I have with food is a powerful thing. I’m not ready to deal with some of the things that come up and I know that I need to find a process that deals with releasing memories and past hurts. At the end of the day my behavioural patterns are beliefs that I have power over. Sometimes, it feels as though there are too many shitty things wrong with me and I want to hide under my duvet. Then I remember how far I’ve come. There was a time that I did not know that I eat for comfort and it’s taken a lot a self awareness. I never saw the patterns that ran through my family. Awareness takes time and patience. I want to get to the place where everything is brilliant. This takes work and tears. I’m not sure I have it in me. Changing my thoughts is the easiest and hardest thing to do. Progress, right? Not perfection.
This week has been crazy for me. At work we organised an event for 600+ people in London plus 30 international satellite events. Yes, it was as crazy as it sounds. As I was walking around in those rare moments of silence I was saying to myself ‘Oh, I’m definitely heavier. I feel heavier. It must be fluid retention. I better cut down on my salt. Look! My breasts are definitely bigger. Might be PMS’. Not exactly the mind of a calm and relaxed person.
The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was to ask myself what I wanted to do and the thought came to go for a run by the canal. I’ve lived in this studio for nearly three months and I haven’t even walked by the canal. I crawled back into bed for a another couple of hours and downloaded some apps for training from 0 to a 5k run and other bits and bobs. Whilst getting dressed I spotted my scale. Now, I have a horrible relationship with the scales. If I’ve been working hard and the numbers don’t match then I feel disheartened and especially since I’ve been walking around all week feeling really heavy. I gave myself a pep talk first and then stepped on. I had lost 2.5kg in 10 days.
My mental chatter convinced me that my body was heavier. Somehow it feels as though I don’t really fully live in my body. I can put on 10kg and not realise and clearly, the other way ’round. On somedays it seems to be this heavy thing that I lump around with me. Yet, I’m constantly touching/feeling my body. Putting moisturiser on, stretching and walking. Still, I am unconscious of the parameters of me. Unless I am in pain then I’m physically out of touch. I am little upset by it but, I’m recognising and honouring all the different bits of me so, this is something that I have to work with. Freeing my mental weight might be something that I have to work on long after the physical weight has melted away.
And, yes the run was lovely. My goal is to run three times a week and then, hopefully in 9 weeks time I’ll be able to run 5k. I can walk/run it at the moment but I would love to run all the way. I finished it off with a 20min walk and 50 squats – I started the 30 day squat challenge today. I watched Destiny Godley’s video on YouTube on and I thought I need to do this. Try it!
This blog has been lingering in the back of my mind for the last few months. I’ve missed it.
I’ve moved home and learnt a great deal about myself. I am quite messy; I actually like eating well; and sometimes, I enjoy having a lie in. I always thought that I couldn’t do it but, it got too much living with my sisters. And I was so unhappy and felt backed into a corner so I had to take the jump. I don’t think that I had ever been that unhappy before. Almost like a caged animal was who forgotten what it’s like to be free.
I walk to work now. It’s an 1.5 hours both ways. I get my yoga in about three times a week. I randomly break into squats and lunges whilst cooking. Sometimes, I do Warrior’s Pose before bed.
New things that I have discovered in these last few months:
- Elliott Hulse on YouTube. Check him out.
- Bio Energetics
- Colour correcting primer
- I can be really brave. I asked my long time crush out!
I’ve plucked up the courage to start having laser hair removal on my face again. I was close to crying the first time. My face was on FIRE. So much of the hair dropped out. It really shocking. When you’ve lived with something for so long it’s surprising when you can feel good. I’ve hated my face so long it’s weird getting comfortable with myself again.
Change comes from belief. I’m willing to try challenging things. Things that make me feel awkward. I want to push myself on the different levels and see where I wind up.
I have worked out once this week. Why? My psoriasis is so painful that I probable averaged 4 hours of sleep every night this week. Yesterday, my skin finally began to knit back together. Yes, it’s as painful as it sounds. I can’t sleep on my right side. It’s never been this bad on my torso before. And I have to say that there have been times where I have wanted to scream in desperation. But, I’m thanking God for small mercies as the last time I lost 40% of my hair. At least my skin is healing now thanks to a truck load of herbs and a new diet that I am following. I’m not the most patience of people when it comes to myself but I’ve just had to take it as it comes. Having an even more restricted diet was a bit of a shock to the system. But, I’m laughing and every inch of new skin seems like a miracle. A while back I watched Oprah’s Lifeclass with Eckhart Tolle who said that the Creator creates in order to experience itself. Well, Lord, you’ve got psoriasis. When I think like this the shame and the feeling of not being enough disappear. It makes me feel like I’m not the only one. It also makes me giggle.
Having time to think helps me to assess my thoughts. I like to weed out my negative beliefs and look at my eating habits. I miss the gym though. On Monday I realised how much I’ve grown. I now run on a treadmill in the busiest part of the gym. When I first started I avoided this area and never thought that I would never ever run in the middle of a busy gym. Let alone run sideways on some days. I am hoping that perhaps next Wednesday I’ll be able to jog. I don’t know. I can’t even do a yoga stretch at the moment. It’s so frustrating. But, sometimes it good to learn to sit with frustration. Sometimes, things don’t go to plan and I have to learn to live with it. I am learning to treat myself kindly which is a novel idea to me. Maybe I’ll fully heal my body and in the long run this serves me better rather than dealing with psoriasis off and on every 4 months.
I hope that you are all having amazing workouts!
Somehow, I had not realised that my body would be this sore. And that I would have to hit the gym and work hard whilst aching. During my workouts I am focused and I work through the pain- no more looking at the panels of other people’s machines when I’m almost dying. Ha! There’s one way of getting rid of comparison envy. Whatever discomfort I’m feeling during my exercises I can bear. But, I did not know that I would not give myself a rest and that the next day I would be back in the gym repeating the killer exercise from yesterday. At least I can walk. Last week after my session on the treadmill I couldn’t go down stairs for 5 days. At least my body is adapting. I managed to fit in two hours of exercise on Monday. I woke up early by accident and the first thing I thought was ‘I can exercise!’ Strange and slightly scary. I am almost waiting for this joy to fall away and for me to go back to my old self. Don’t get me wrong it’s not like every day is like this. Last week I spent most of my week feeling horrid and I cried myself to sleep last night. But, I kicked ass on that treadmill though.
Yesterday, during my Core exercises and hipwork I realised two things: Firstly, that everything that I have learned for the last few years has finally come together. For a long time I did not fully commit to changing myself. Now, it’s not easy but, it’s not the uphill struggle that it used to be. Yes, I have tried to talk myself out of going to the gym for the last two days. But, I went and worked HARD! To top that I worked out for two hours on Monday as I woke up early and did some yoga. The second thing that I realised is that I need to respect my injuries. My pigeon pose is quite deep on my left side but my right knee is injured. It used to frustrate me that I could not bend my knee as much or bend forward as far as I wanted. However, yesterday I thought to myself ‘This is how far you can go today. Respect your injury. Respect your knee.’
It’s coming together in a way that I never thought possible. My portions have decreased and I am not starving. Although my cashew nut addiction shows no sign of abating. Why can I not have an addiction to carrots instead?:) Aching limbs are now my badge of pride. I’ve even somehow managing to overcome my fear of people using me exercise. I’ve found a new room for my lunchtime practise. Sure, a high rise office block overlooks me and I am sorry if you saw my knickers today. But, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.
I felt like I was going to die in the gym today. I had done my Core and hip exercises at lunchtime. Happily, I realised that I was stronger and that I needed to move to the next level. After a couple of months of following the programme it was long overdue. This lead to me upping my level to 8 on the elliptical because I didn’t want to get to the point where I am comfortable. 30mins later I understood why people wear sweat bands. Today, people, I tasted my sweat. Vile, yes. I was horrified but I had that secretly pleased feeling when you know that you are working hard. Those intervals killed my thighs and arms.
However, my elated feeling didn’t last for very long as I took the convoluted route home as I had to go to several stores. I am never doing this again after the gym because I’m still waiting to eat supper. It’s going to be a delicious dish with rice, turkey and cabbage so it’s worth the wait. I was crabby and I couldn’t make up my mind about where to go. My lack of preparation saw me without a sports bra and my protein shake today hence me being annoyed. I finally decided to have an apple and cashew nuts. All of the mental whirl kind of came to a standstill and I kept thinking about what getting healthier really means to me. I’ve lost both my grandparents to cardiovascular/diabetes related illnesses. My mum is going blind from her diabetes. My dad is dying from a heart/kidney disease. Whilst sometimes this is a lot to deal with I don’t want to go down the route that my family have taken. My family may not have been able to prevent their illnesses but maybe a healthier diet and exercise may have helped. I don’t know. I am trying hard not to judge as everyone is on a difficult journey. However, I’d like to think that even if I have an illness that I cannot cure, the least that I can do is ensure that I am as well as possible. It’s not how long you live but how well, no? I think that the mistake that I made before was allowing fear to drive me to exercise. This time I making sure that it’s love that guides me to look after my body.
I’m drawing my own map to my destination. That destination is me. As my father’s inevitable death draws closer that map might involve a lot of crying but I’ll finally be speaking my truth. The lines and colours will all be mine. This is love.
When you hijack yourself it’s really easy to allow other people to hijack you.
I’m an emotional eater so when things go bad or I get stressed and busy it’s hard for not reach for food as my tranquilizer. It’s not so much the eating but rather the preparation of food that calms me down. The longer the better. If you didn’t know me maybe you would think that I put on weight by dining at McDonald’s or KFC but no. It’s larger portions of well cooked full of love home cooked food. Good food makes me feel like everything is OK and that all that the rubbish that I am surrounded by can be drowned out for 20 minutes whilst I eat this beautiful meal. It’s like swallowing love. I tend not to stop at ‘satiated’. ‘Slightly full’ or even ‘uncomfortably full’ seems to be the mark. Especially at supper when I’m at home. I’m rarely over-full at work but in the evenings in the midst of hostility I over eat to compensate for the things that I’m missing.
On Wednesday I did 30 mins Core and hip work at lunchtime and 30 mins interval training on the elliptical on level 7. I should have been proud but instead I was miserable. Yes, I had a horrendous journey getting to the gym. The idea of going to a packed gym where other people could see makes me slightly frightened. Actually, frightens me a lot. The later I got there the more people would be there since it was peak time. By the time I had reached the front door I wanted to turn around and leave. Why bother trying to change this body, right? It’s already scarred and injured. Top it off it’s fat. I finally made it the changing room and my eczema started to itch. I started to scratch. I had to coax myself out of the toilet in the changing room like a little child. I tried to listen to some music as a way of keeping out of my head.
Whilst I was on the elliptical I kept looking around me- ‘What is she dong?’ I asked. ‘Her numbers are so much higher than mine’ I thought. ‘She’s going to fast. Why the hell am I so slow!’ I screamed. When I stepped off the elliptical I wanted to sit on the floor on cry. The best part of my session was stretching and realising that my joints and muscles were looser than last week. By the time I had made it back to the changing room and I realised that I forgot my protein shake. I thought ‘LOSER’. On my bus ride home I tried to pick apart my behaviour. Why did I feel so competitive? Why could I be pleased that I had met my targets for the day? Why did feel the need to do an hour in the gym? Whilst trying to be kind to myself by soothing my doubts there was one part of me that was raging like a spoilt child shouting ‘You want to lose weight? Here we go again. Why bother to set yourself up for failure?’ I went to bed with this shadow and woke up with a sore throat, a headache and the beginnings of a cold.
Yesterday, I did no Core work as I felt like death at lunch but later on in the late afternoon I thought that I might do one of yogayak’s video when I got home. I was sure that there was one for colds or I another one I could do. I felt a little more optimistic and less like a failure for not being able to go to the gym. The minute that I stepped in my front door I had my sister screaming at me about my mum’s medicine not arriving. Needless to say I was already tired but I turned on my heels to buy a phone card and when I called my mum she had already picked up her medicine. Had I sent it to the incorrect address like I had done last time? Without going into the details of my family I couldn’t believe how angry I was. And by the time my mother had made the second phone call to complain about there not being enough medicine I was livid. My blood pressure was through the roof and yoga had flown out of my mind. Looking back today I definitely not the victim- I was playing to other people’s expectations of what I should do and be like.
How does this tie in with me wanting to take better care of myself? Well, I’ve always been the big girl and when I’ve lost weight people have said ‘Oh no! Don’t do that. You don’t need to be like those thin girls. You’re not a teenager’. When my mum is in the country and I’m doing an exercise video in the morning she would come down and say ‘Oh, you’re doing one of your stupid videos’. This would prevent me from exercising in front of her and since she is a early riser and first in the lounge my morning exercising sessions flew out of the window. I trying to slowly move to a place where I don’t care what people think when they see me sweating and out of breath. I’d rather be uncomfortable now rather than dealing with diabetes and high blood pressure in 20 years time. Hopefully, after a few months of being at the gym I’ll be able to walk into a packed packed not give a hoot if someone looks at me and what they think.
I have a question for you: should I sit with my uncomfortable feelings and pick them apart to gain greater understanding at the risk of not exercising? Or should I override them and in the moment exercise despite my misgivings?
- Gluten free porridge with soya milk and almonds
- Poussin and salad x2
- Gluten free diary free egg free blueberry pudding cake with yogurt
- Gluten free porridge with soya milk, cashew nuts and almonds
- Salad with turkey and tofu.
- 2 large Sardines with rice and carrot rice.
- 9 Bar x2
- Blueberries adn the rest of my pudding cake with yogurt
- Gluten free cornflakes with soya milk
- Eat Natural Cereal bar
- Strawberries with soya yogurt