Nobody should have to drink swamp water first thing in the morning. I just have to get that off my chest. Even if it tastes sorta okay, really that’s a stretch, I feel more like a frog than a human being. It just isn’t natural! Give me spinach and lettuce if you have to, but icky green water? No thanks!
I made it through Day #1. My only cheat was coffee with a splash of fat-free half and half. I started Day #2 the same, so now that my confession is complete here’s what I’m discovering.
It was both easy and hard. Easier than I expected, hard because it took work, focus and argh discipline. When I went to bed, after a cup of home-made vegetable beef soup and two Tylenol, I thought there’s no way in hell I can keep this up. I have to admit, however, I was proud of myself…a little.
The most valuable tool that I used throughout the day was something I’ve been practicing for some time: mindfulness, staying in the moment. When my mind wanted to jump ahead to dreading my next meal, or lack thereof, I brought it back to the moment. Just now. Be here. When you are here, you can’t wallow in self-pity or despair over what could have been or might never be. I will, can, and do drink the swamp water in this moment. That’s it. That’s my only thought, and then it’s done, and I can go back to writing.
I have an intellectual awareness that food = comfort, and have paid lip service to how it’s impacted my life, but yesterday, I began to explore the connection in a deeper, more personal way. First, there is almost nothing on this diet that offers me comfort, except for the sweet potato that I had at 3:00.
Comfort is an illusive thing and often, it is not even clear what need we are trying to meet. Yesterday, I realized that I have a powerful need for security. It’s stronger now perhaps than it was in the past, as I have come to a place where I have almost none of the typical types of security, such as a steady job, certain income or a husband with same. I do not have the external structures I once had, such as kids to raise, parents to care for, or again a job outside of the home.
Over the last several years since the accident I unconsciously created a meal regimen that offered me structure, security and comfort all in one. I found healthy foods that I enjoyed for breakfast and lunch and that’s what I ate…every day. Eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, fruit/yogurt/nuts for lunch. Dinner was whatever my husband fixed, and as I’m not a fan of dinner, it was simply a meal at a structured time that filled my stomach. I moved on with enjoyment, however, to a cup or two of decaf coffee with flavored cream and later a bowl of cereal and/or a low-fat fudge pop. All of this comfort food, albeit healthy to some extent, is not on my food list now.
The absence of the opportunity to find structure, security and comfort at meal time and beyond is forcing me to look at new ways to fill this need. Interestingly enough, today I was eager to write down my foods, take my supplements and write this blog. Ah, structure, of a different sort. Security can be found in participating in planned, creative or functional tasks. It’s only the beginning.
I had very dark, vivid and ominous dreams. It must be my “rebellious liver”! I’m always amazed at the creativity of the psyche. If I could have recorded my dream, it would have made an awesome horror flick. Where does all that stuff come from???
Before I end I have to say a word about my husband, Scott. I would not be honest if I did not say that we have had our difficulties during our thirty-two years of marriage, so those of you who are single, please don’t assume as I did when I was single that it is an easier or better life, because it is not. It is different. It presents its own opportunities for growth or avoidance of growth. Single or coupled, in the end we must always face ourselves. Perhaps being single offers one a better opportunity for an authentic life as one is forced more readily to face oneself, but I digress.
Scott has supported me in every endeavor I have ever decided to undertake. He never questions my choices, criticizes my madness, or stands in the way of my valiant attempts to be me. In fact, he almost always jumps right in and participates in whatever way he can. When I opened Baby’s Best, my used baby furniture store, and I was 7 months pregnant, he was right there beside me, hauling furniture, putting up shelves, and keeping an eye on our then three-year old son. When I said, “Let’s move to Virginia”, he rented and packed the truck while I sold the house. When I said, “Let’s buy a fixer upper”, he was right there, knocking down walls, laying flooring, and installing appliances while
I painted and painted and painted. When I decided to sell jeans on eBay, he bought and assembled shelving and helped me turn one of our spare bedrooms into a warehouse. That’s just the short list. Now, as I attempt to modify my health, he is right there with me, unceremoniously preparing meals for me like the one in the picture (my breakfast). After a hard day of work he made a luscious meal of salmon and veggies and a pot of soup. Already, on Day #2 I can see how instrumental he is, and will continue to be in my success with this program. Thank you, friend and soul mate. You’re the best.
Day #1 – I’m a Coward
Day #2 – The Morning after the Night Before
Day #3 – There are No Words
Day #4 – Coming Full Circle
Day #5 & #6 – Hyped Up and Nowhere to Go
Day #7 – The Body, Mind, Spirit Connection