12-24-12 Having been on the nutrisystem diet for a few days now, I’m noticing a difference in my energy and awareness of my body. I don’t feel as compact. I feel a bit lighter and leaner. At the same time, this diet has given me a chance to meditate on my approach to eating food. I’ve come to two realizations about the origins of how I’ve handled food in the past.
The first realization goes back to a memory I had when I was 11 or 12. My step-mother had changed her behavior toward me, and was much more cold and distant then she’d been before due to circumstances I won’t go into here, beyond saying that on some level she was taking out her anger toward someone else on me. In any case, we had this dinner of fried chicken and I ate a bunch of chicken, more than I really should of, and she commented on how I was a good eater. Since such compliments were much rarer, I think it had an impact on me and that I wanted to be a good eater because then it meant I was accepted.
The second realization goes back to my college days. I moved into an apartment when I was 20, and suddenly I faced a reality I’d never faced, which is that I had bills to pay, including groceries and that I also had room mates who wouldn’t be shy about eating my food even though they weren’t supposed to. For about a year or two I was only eating one to two meals a day and I was hungry a lot. I remember that when I got into the Masters program at clarion and lived in the dorms there that I became a bit of a glutton for the cafeteria food. Knowing I didn’t have to go hungry made an impact on me. I eventually became more sensible with how much I ate and I exercised regularly, but I always maintained a hearty appetite. So now I feel the occasional pang of hunger and instead of indulging in food, I’m really sitting with it and meditating on what it brings up for me, with the realization as well that I am a fortunate person in that I have ready access to food, where many people in the world do not.
12-27-12 In thinking further about my relationship to food, I realize I have been an over eater or glutton. I eat after I’m full to the point where I feel bloated and weighed down by the food I’ve eaten. We went off diet for xmas dinner and I over ate. I didn’t like how it felt and when I’m on the diet I feel less weighed and not bloated. So it makes me realize that one of my challenges is working on portions. I need to avoid over eating…I need to know when my body is satisfied. On the plus side, I’ve lost 7 pounds and I’m noticing a distinct different in how I fit my clothes and how I feel, I like this feeling and I want to keep it.
12-31-12 As I’ve continued exercising, I’ve been thinking about movement and the body and more importantly I’ve focused on just being with the movement, whether its the movement I feel when I exercise or the movement I feel as I walk. In a way the burn of the exercise helps me be more aware of my movement. I can’t take it for granted as I might if I wasn’t exercising. But it also makes me think about movement in general and how there really is no such thing as seamless movement. There is always a bit of resistance or friction…we might not feel it, but its there, and being aware of it when we don’t feel is important because then it can be accounted for.
1-1-13 One of the issues that came up a few days ago was a realization of how embedded my habit of beating myself up is. It came up because of something Kat mentioned and when I apologized for it, for the umpteenth time, she asked me to stop and then she brought up how much I did that. What she said really struck me in a vulnerable place. I felt myself start to shut down because I felt like she’d come across this wound within me that I couldn’t faced, and yet I clearly needed to face it. This behavior has been present in all of my relationships and I know right where to trace it. But facing it was painful because it was facing all the feelings that accompanied the self beat up…the resentment, fear and anger I’ve felt toward others, and the humiliation I’ve felt as I’ve tried to somehow make the person I’d offended feel like she (this has never happened with men) had her say and could hopefully let it go instead of continuing to hold it over my head as a way to continue punishing me. Kat told me that she didn’t want to punish me or see me punishing myself…that she hadn’t realized how deep the behavior went, and that she’d help me work on it, help me stay on top of it. Hearing that made me feel hopeful, because facing this deep wound in myself was not easy, and yet realizing it consciously has made me want to change it for my own health and the health of my relationship.
1-4-13 One of the books I’m reading is on somaesthetics. Basically its a book about the experience of the body and how to appreciate the body for what it is. I find his analysis of Western culture and its approach to the body to be fascinating, in large part I think it’s true.. Western culture treats the body as a tool or as something sinful. How much that has weighed people down and held them back. Certainly my own experiences point to some of the issues that come up. While I am mostly comfortable with my body, there have been moments when I’ve found myself facing some cultural meme about it.
1-12-13 When I’ve gone off diet on occasion, I’ve been proud of myself each time because I’ve only eaten until I don’t feel hungry. I haven’t tried to eat until I feel “full” or bloated as I think of that feeling now. Exercise is going well also. I’m not getting as sore as I did and I’m noticing more strength and grace in my everyday movement. It’s made me appreciate the element of movement even further in terms of how essential it is to our lives, but also what it can tell us about our sense of health.
I wrote earlier today: “Movement is an intrinsic force of identity, the relationship piece of identity, and the establishment of context in time and space.” And I think that is really the case with movement. Movement and identity go hand in hand in terms of not just physical movement but also metaphysical movement. When a person does magic what they are really doing is moving their identity and its contextual relationship to space and time into a new direction. When we acknowledge this it opens us up to awareness about movement as it applies not only to our own movements, but also the movements of others and how all of it fits together.
1-18-13 As I’ve gotten more into exercising I’ve been pushing myself harder, putting more energy into it. Undoubtedly I’m able to do this because of how my body is getting stronger, but it’s more than just physical changes to the movement. It’s also an attitude change. It’s an awareness of how I feel about the exercising and about the desires I have around transforming my relationship with my body. I like how my body feels and I like the feeling of soreness after I’ve exercised that’s a reminder of my body and the changes I am experiencing with it.
In another direction with moving, I’ve really been opening up more to Kat. There’s this part of me that has tended to protect itself by not opening up, and the reason it provides is: I don’t want you to use what I say against me.” No big surprise there as I’ve found that in the past a lot of what I said or did was held against me and used as leverage of one kind or another. So when I am promised that what I say won’t be used against me, that instead the person will hold space and yes may have a reaction, but afterwards will truly lay it to rest…that’s what I need…and she has offered it and followed through on it. I’ll admit to being surprised at the depth of fear I felt around this issue, but it makes sense given what’s happened. I learned very young to keep things to myself and to be provide a filtered amount of information because of how that information would be used. So it’s a relief to let the filters go and just speak…
It is also fascinating how you can re-direct movement in a room with the right energy. This evening I was at an event where a person was asking for donations. I was the only person she didn’t ask, and I put out an energy of move along, which worked rather well to insure that I wasn’t asked. The right emotional energetic message can create interesting movement patterns. I’ve used that technique since I was in high school and yet I think I’ve only fully begun to appreciate it tonight.
1-22-13 If you consider that movement applies to more than just the physical ability to move…that it applies to the movement of money, the movement of a career, the movement of your life, then its also worth considering what you are having trouble moving in your life, and how that lack of movement is affecting your overall sense of well-being. I am mindful of this in my own life as I consider both present and past circumstances where I have felt unable to move or only able to move at a crawl. Movement isn’t necessarily an indicator of success, but it is an indicator of what feels like its working as opposed to what feels blocked. However the key to handling an area of your life where movement is slow, is to find a way to keep moving and keep yourself open to possibilities of greater movement. I’ll admit I feel frustrated with a couple areas of my life and the lack of movement in them, but I know I need to keep moving and keep open to the possibilities as well as solutions to the actual blockage. Eventually a solution will be found.