Monday, January 19, 2009

Start to Finish

I watched as she got nervous around food. She scanned the restaurant for the plates that could be hers. She pondered the menu like a person who had not been in a restaurant for years and didn't want to make the wrong choice. Or maybe it was more of wanting everything all at once or the fear of ingredients making her feel badly. Her nervous, anxious energy, seeped over the table and I found myself uncomfortable. I found myself eating too quickly once the food arrived, and not enjoying my meal. I tried breathing, slowing down. It didn't help. I went with her to the bakery section and partook in choosing a dessert to take home for later. She again, got agitated making her selections and interacting with the staff. It broke my heart to watch her. I hoped my example of taking home a single dessert and being happy with that, might let her know that desserts were okay in moderation. I watched her take more than one and plunge in as soon as possible. I know I could help her but I didn't want to say anything and upset her. I didn't want her to feel badly. I just know that food isn't what is going to make her feel good.

This is a huge would wide epidemic of not just using food as an addictive substance but a substitute for feelings, or taking responsibility for ones actions. There seems to also be many who think since it is coming from a health shop or restaurant that eating more is okay. That might be true to a point because without the dairy and cane sugar and all the whole vegetables and grains, etc., a person might feel a tad better or lose some weight eating more. I've seen clients who lose enormous amounts eating simple foods even when they over eat, but the quantities were not recommended.

If only I could help my friend find more joy in her life, help her to get excited about each day and let food just be one small pleasure in a sea of many. I wish I could help her to know that there will be so many opportunities to be in this restaurant or some other, and that just enjoying what ever selection she makes today, slowly and thoughtfully will leave others for another day and nothing is lost. It might just leave more to look forward to. If it was fun for all then she would get many more invitations or start enjoying going by herself.

I used to feel badly eating in a restaurant by myself. I thought it meant I was a loser or pathetic and I wanted to hide. I'm glad I don't feel that way at all anymore. I usually don't like to read or do anything either. I am happy to be with my own company and think my thoughts. Occasionally writing down an idea for something to work on later. I enjoy each bite of food and am very in tune with where my full point is. I take home what I can not finish and I have a great experience. Food can be a great experience from start to finish. In restaurants and at home. It's all up to you and what you are willing to allow for yourself. Make it fun. Take your time and clear anything in the way.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Perils of Indulgence

I love desserts. I always have. I just don't love the consequences all that much. Last night, after a simply delicious slice of lemon meringue pie, I felt happy and contented. It did not have cane sugar in it and was just the right size. Not too much leaving me overstuffed and not too little as to wish for something more. No, it was a lovely dessert both sweet and tart, soft, melt in the mouth filling with a crisp crust. I have not been eating any meat though lately. I've had only a small amount of fish. Therefore I have less of a buffer against the sweet stuff.

Aside from sugars paralyzing the immune system the incoming swoop of of sweet sticky stuff into the blood, is just more than my body likes. I wake up the next day a tad tired. Okay, so not so much as to ruin the day or anything, but everything is a little cloudy and slower than normal. I have loads of terrific things to do, I don't want to just pith away a beautiful Sunday sleeping late and mulling around on my couch for hours just because I had a fun slice of pie.

I know what your thinking. Make some kudzu tea Susan and be done with it and move on. Get the alkalizers to work for you and you'll be fine. True enough. It just takes a while for my cloudy thinking to even think about that. It takes spilling tea all over my floor to realize how foggy my thinking really is. It's blazing hot outside today and the thought of salty warm liquids is unappealing until I decide how much I do want to come back to full control of my senses here.

I grab an umeboshi plum from my fridge and quickly feel the effects bringing me back out of the fog. It's time to run. I'll leave the sweets alone for now. Perhaps next weekend if I do indulge again, I'll remember to fix myself a little sooner.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Play a Free To Eat Game - More Freedom, Less Weight

I named this blog "Free To Eat" because so many people seem to be in food prison of some kind. With the stats raising daily of the number of obese people in the western world, clearly our land of freedom here in the U.S. is not living up to the constitution. Well, okay, we have the freedom to destroy ourselves and our fellow man as well I guess for a profit or entertainment.

When you are really free, you can see from a different vantage point though. Not that I am all that lofty myself, but I get to keep steadily finding more freedom in every area of my life and the food freedom has been increasing the more I take control of my thinking and indulge in delicious foods that grow from the ground and not from a factory.

I'm still amazed that people believe that if it is made from whole grain that is the same as the grain when they eat it. My audience laughs as I ask if you can grow a bread tree. I ask them what happens when you plant a loaf? Will anything sprout? Probably not. The same goes for crackers, cereals, etc. They are all fun. They are not going to give you as much freedom in your body and mind as the whole grains they came from.

Being free of worry about extra weight, disease, fitting in clothes, fitting in, looking good, taking pictures, who gets paid more because they look better, etc. etc. etc. Being free of all this kind of thinking is a giant relief. Can whole foods give you that? They sure seem to. But not whole foods alone without changing the internal dialogue as well.

Free to eat is taking responsibility for the consequences of all of our actions and thinking. Certainly you can justify the donut, the chocolate or the latte. But they will have a consequence that you then get to live with. Bargaining with yourself by playing the calorie, or fat gram, or any other games of - if I do this I get that - will keep you in prison. It's way too much work besides.

What if you play the healthy Free to Eat game? What if you had freedom around food and your body? What if you learn to embrace what you know will ultimately bring you pleasure instead of succumbing to constant indulgences day after day with the blame, shame and pain of the results? Are you interested? I am.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Drop the Excuses

Did you resolve to do something that you have been meaning to do? I love the new year. It is just another day, yet we turn a page and begin again. There is a mass consciousness to getting more done and drop the excuses.

Peeking at the excuses, can you really drop yours? Are your excuses tied up with who you believe you are? Do you resist your life and just have things basically the same year after year - problems, good stuff and all? Most seem to.

Where in your life might you just let go and do something that you want to do and see your way out of the obstacles in the way? My friend recently told me she was thinking of coming to visit me, but it's been cold here and she doesn't have any warm clothes. Now, the obvious thing to do could simply be, buy a sweater or two, and go, if that is what you want to do. No, that would be too simple and obliterate the thing that keeps her life and her routine - the same and safe!

We all have some habits. Do you like yours? Which ones might you be willing to let go of? Where is your biggest resistance to your life? For many, the beginning of the new year is a time when they are geared up to let go of some excess weight. The joke is that the resolve never lasts. It can not last until you are ready to actually have new habits. They won't feel good all the time. There might be moments of uncomfortableness like hunger when you eat less. You just are not used to the feeling so you might label it bad and want to run and get something to eat. Do anything else. Jump up and down, go for a walk, call a friend. Do something that distracts your thinking from taking you down that road to your old life. The one you just said you were dropping for the new and improved version. You can't have what you want if your standing rooted in your past behaviors.

What is your excuse? Money? Time? Kids? Parents? Your Job? We all have some fall back thoughts that sound so logical we can justify not going for our dreams fully so we don't look so foolish if we fail to make them a reality. We justify to ourselves as well. Look to see what you say you want but are not living. Take the scary step of not listening to your thinking. okay, a little disclaimer here, if it is dangerous or illegal or something that is your dream, forget it altogether, I'm talking about average stuff like losing weight, going on a vacation, buying a new camera or iphone. Stuff you say to yourself - I would like this but I can't.... Drop the excuses and let this be the year you really do start living happier, healthier and more alive!!!