The Morning After the Night Before – Day #2

The Morning After the Night Before – Day #2

Tiffanie At White Sands by Woodie Duncan
Tiffanie At White Sands by Woodie Duncan

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

Breakfast Day #2

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

0 Replies to “The Morning After the Night Before – Day #2”

  1. I’m with you all the way, but thankfully I don’t have to drink that horrid green drink. On the other hand I can’t have sweet potatoes. So we’re even. Stay focused!!

  2. Wow. I am drawn into our similarities here. My main reason for comfort eating is my deep need for security. Ever since I was a kid the world has felt very fragile to me and food soothes/numbs the relating anxieties. I have known this for a while but haven’t quite figured out yet how to feel safe without food. But I think you are right, routine and structure are one way, my only problem here is that I dislike too much structure! Ugh. But will give this some more thought, you might be on to something and I have notice that I have been craving more structure since taking a break from working. The other thing: your vivid dreams. I often wonder how I come up with the stuff I do and have said on more than one occasion that sci-fi books or movies could be made out of my dreams! And you are so lucky to have a husband who cooks! Mine is a lovely man on so many levels but sadly not a cook. And I am a bit of a lazy cook so that’s my project right now, to get more into it 🙂

    1. Hi, Kerstin! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. We do seem to have much in common. I also squirm and rebel against structure. I think perhaps if instead of calling it structure or discipline, which is punitive in nature to me, and rather view those things we add to our lives on a regular basis as “practices”…things we want to add, not have to add…we might find it more acceptable. I am struggling big time with the food=comfort thing and plan to write more about that today. It’s not an easy issue for many of us!

      1. Whew, I think I need more coffee…..I’m writing on Sat the 15th at 10:26am, replying at the end of the comments that were posted on the 15th at 1:50pm,….Twilight Zone, anyone? Back on topic………I’ve been trying to find comfort in how much better [younger!] I feel, and my new trio of size 10-12 slacks that are loose even with winter weight gain. Somehow it just isn’t quite the same as dark chocolate. For breakfast [after a trip to the gym] I had hamburg and butternut squash…..the squash is my comfort food but my ego still won’t stop carping that that is just too weird to be acceptable. Acceptable to whom, I’m not sure, but we’re still having that conversation, so I’m still feeling unsatisfied and unsettled. So take some measure of comfort [pun intended] in knowing you’re so not alone, Dorothy!
        On dreams….I have a dream book with an appendix of a dream dictionary. Death is transformation, end of a phase. Blood is “a sign of life and animality” [anger, lust, fear.] Information, like emotions, all information from our unconscious to help us find peace.
        Blessings on Day 3!! Way to go, girl!

        1. My husband brewed me a pot of Butternut Squash soup which I nearly inhaled at lunchtime. Total comfort food! And, boy do I need some comfort today! All of this, and transformation in general, make me way uncomfortable. I think maybe the real problem is that we tend to look for the “feel good”, or pay out, without the suffering. Ah, our addiction to instant gratification; a cultural phenomenon it seems. I should read up more on dreams. When I pay attention and can figure them out they are incredibly reliable guides and offer a window into my layers of unfinished business. Thanks so much for your support!

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