Be Here Now With

Jen’s Diary

The Psychological Battle of Losing Weight and Maintaining a Meditation Practice

In The Field, With This Body

Day 71: Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019

Weigh In: 185.4

F***, G**D***, S***, W**! How?! Why?! Here we go again, up, up, and up on the scale. I know how. I know why. Pointless. It’s pointless to explain. I just got back from the beach and Chapel Hill for a fall break vacation with the family. I ate fish, and shrimp, and crab cakes for a week. But I drank beer on the beach and didn’t exercise and had my period. So what! I am in a total knot! And funk! And depression! Although my raging, swirling anger and despair is impossible to feel along with depression, so it can’t be a depressed state. Instead it feels like collapse. Shut down. Immobilized.

I meditated on the beach every day. I took an online class with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. I studied the Dharma and felt my feet on the sand as I walked. I worked from the inside out. But yet my body kept growing. My belly is blocking the view of my freshly painted toes. I cannot see them. It feels cancerous, like some sort of ascites pushing my belly out. This whole thought process is cancerous. Have I given up?

I am pissed mad, and stuck. How can I be both at the same time?

I have examined the big picture, leaving no stone unturned. Some of this stickiness is old trauma wounds. It correlates on a timeline of my husband’s string of job losses and his taking behavior. This feels old. His prioritizing his own needs so simply and me contorting into Cirque De Soleil poses to make him and everyone else around him comfortable. The classic cover up. Outside-in our life is perfect. But if you look at my body growing from the inside-out it is a glaring red herring that that story is defunct. I am holding on to my internal organs and protecting them with an extra layer of blubber to protect the fall. To cushion me from pain, heartache, suffering. But it’s actually the doing of this that is exactly adding to my pain, heartache and suffering. A self-fulfilling prophecy. What cannot I not let go of? It’s the “I told you so’s.” But even I know, and my slow dumb fly body knows, that when I get to that finish line of “I told you so” that you still remain fat, unhealthy, angry, and defeated.

I have more self-confidence than this! We can do this! Pick yourself back up! Start where you are! Soften! Begin again! Breathe!

Today I am starting the Tony Horton 10-minute body program. Right now! I cannot sit still to meditate, so I will find another applicable way to practice today. As I feel my fingers typing on the keyboard, and attune to the clicking sounds, feeling the tension in my hands, jaw, thighs. This is my mindfulness for the day. Spitting anger! And mad! No use to force or coerce or strive for stillness. Meditation is not for pushing so hard against the struggle. I can work the edges off the cushion today.

Hello Tony it’s been a while….

Day 57: Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019

Weigh In: 181.4

It has taken me all week to get back to here, exactly where I started a week ago, around my ass to my elbow and back again. Live and learn. Quit punishing. All sorts of negative thoughts are velcro-ing to by body. I am noticing, observing, and watching it happen. What can I do? Pause. Hold my hand on my heart. Breathe. Reconnect. Go gently. Let the energy move. Don’t let it get rooted. Recall Elan Vital…the French term describing the essential energy that animates us and moves us through life. Enliven the sensation of connecting to the impulse of life. Craving vitality and life force. Craving health and appropriate weight and size. Reducing mental chatter. Seeing more clearly. Feeling healthy inside and out.

Ahhhhh! Okay. Fresh start. Right now!

Working hard over the next 3 days to get to 180.0. I can do this!

Plan: tomorrow is a busy office day, so my ammunition is to log food and find time to meditate. Tuesday is my birthday and I am having lunch with my dear old friend Marnie. I will exercise in the morning, sleep well the night before and cut out wine the next two nights. Wednesday I have a self-care day planned with a new friend, Danielle to go to a spa. I am really excited about, but same plan, log food, exercise in the morning and practice some breath work throughout the day.

Day 56: Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019

Weigh In: 181.4

Down almost 1/2 a pound and after yesterday I’ll take it. I logged all of my food and with my choices surprisingly came in right at my allotted amount of calories 1330. I had two Friday night cocktails at the pool and came home and had a glass and a half of wine. I wasn’t over served, but definitely felt the impact this morning. It’s the sugar in that whatever drink I had at the pool. It the end of the summer dregs and is now more than ever “more country” than “club” so I opted for a vodka cocktail verses a shwag disgusto beer…Yingling was the only choice…barf….stomach rot….no thank you.

Digressing. But mindfully just caught myself hooked on the digression. Deep breathing. The power of the pause.

Today is a soft day. We have no plans but to get some R&R. Attending an adult birthday early this evening, so I will watch my intake this morning. Go for a walk. And meditate. Earth Descent Practice is calling my name.

Day 55: Friday, Sept. 13, 2019

Weigh In: 181.8

Holy Moly its been over a week! Truth be told I’ve been still not feeling well and slightly depressed. Unmotivated. Lethargic. Spacey. Disconnected. And trying to find the purpose. But I’m not giving up. Yesterday I meditated twice with two separate 28-35 minute guided meditations focusing on inner child work. Fascinating how many times I can do those and still recover past hurts, wounds, grief energy, and toxic anger. Allowing it to re-surface…or surface for the first time and then release it all to the ethers is really powerful.

Today I went for a walk and listened to the Atlanta Monster podcast about the Atlanta child murders in 1979. Riveting. It kept me walking, and did something to help wake me up….out of this fog.

Today I am applying the Hacksaw Ridge philosophy of trying to lose just one more pound. Instead of focusing on what it will feel like when I’m 140 pounds, tan, and wearing a stylish 19450s house dress, I am just going to take it one pound down at a time. “God, please just let me help one more. Just one more.”—Hacksaw Ridge…. my version “God, please just let me lose one more pound, just one more!”

Did some intentional breath work today. And Earth Descent practice.

I feel like I’m coming back! The weather is changing, cooling off, motivating me to get out and do things. I am aware of the anniversary time of pain in my somatic body and treading with caution…meaning I am allowing myself to feel low when I feel low….which was this past week….but now I am aware that I can’t stay there. I have to push a bit to get out. Gently of course, but also with some deliberate effort.

I am proactive in the totality of self-care and haven't been too busy…allowing relaxation and have a massage scheduled for today at 1:45p with a guy named Stroud. Let’s hope he can work some magic and release me of more toxic childhood stickiness, and grief energy from my mom, and help me feel more lighthearted and carefree.

Day 46: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019

Weigh In: 181.2

7.2 pounds down! I am not sure how I am doing this at this point. My excuse is that I haven’t been feeling well. So my appetite has been unusual. But why I am not giving myself credit for mindful eating, I’m not sure. Somehow I want to sabotage myself even when I am winning. I don’t want to believe that I am the reason for my own change. But that is ludicrous right? I mean, who else would be responsible for the change in my own damn body? So I guess I have been mindful with my eating. I really actually have. I have been in bed early. Resting. Not exercising, which is a curious thing to lose weight without striving in this arena. I haven’t been drinking at night….sayonara white wine! I’m sure this is temporary until I feel better and then I’m back on the wagon…or is it off?

My mind has felt a little brain foggy…actually a lot foggy. I haven’t felt like my feet have touched the ground for at least a week. I am losing social etiquette and drifting off in the middle of conversations…it looks rude…and aloof…I’m sure of it. I’m questioning if I am depressed. I am examining anniversary dates of trauma. I am trying to hold myself just exactly where I am and just allowing it to be there…..this sooty, dark, fog of car exhaust feeling. I also feel like I have been sucking on dirty pennies for seven days now. Not sure what that is about? But the Google says it’s because my kidney’s and liver are in complete shut down mode, so dialysis or sepsis might be around the corner.

Meditation has been a thinking about meditation. Does that count? I have been more like spacing out for five minutes and then snapping to and counting it as constructive rest…or constructive space out time. Which I suppose is what is needed in that moment. So that’s warranted. It’s not from lack of dedicating time to do nothing. It’s just that when I sit to meditate, my brain feels cloudy, dizzy, heavy, and balloon-ey.

Today my plan is to continue to eat mindfully and rest.

Oh….and this morning I woke up at 5:30a and I pulled out everything from the laundry closet and started to deep clean. So that’s progress to feeling better I suppose.

Day 44: Monday, Sept. 2, 2019 (Labor Day)

Weigh In: 182.0

How? Should I even question it? Down 1.8 pounds in two days. Yesterday was more recovery time. I did feel a bit more energetic, but still not up to par. Today is much of the same. I forced myself to get up and go to Scottsdale Farms this morning and spend some time in this beautiful crisp Sept. air, and touch nature. I walked the acres with my youngest son, McColl who has also been battling whatever this thing is that is leaving us with the whooshy feeling and metallic taste in our mouths. It feels head-coldy, but also flu-y, but with a surprisingly mediocre appetite. Taste buds are definitely not craving meat. But lighter affair and a despondent relationship to the actual food.

I meditated for a few minutes yesterday….most of the time it was just starting out into the middle distance however. Focusing and maintaining an attention span to read even one paragraph is a struggle. I have a Kintsugi workshop coming up this Friday and I better be back to normal.

Again, no exercise. I can’t tell if I’m weak because I’m not feeling well, or if I’m weak because I haven’t exercised. Do I need to force and push, or be lighter and gentler here? My immediate gut is sensing to not push. To be kind. And to continue to rest. So this is what it shall be today. Even though you can tell something is externally pushing me to “get over it!” So I’m going to do the exact opposite of that, and honor my relaxation today without striving.

Body scan meditation is up to bat. Maybe 10 or so minutes….we will see how it goes.

Also, curious about my theory that when I stop exercising I actually lose weight. This is unbelievable to me….but has proven to be truthful more times than not.

Day 42: Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019

Weigh In: 183.8

I’m in a holding pattern. Circling around this number like a shark. Threatening it but making it paralyzed. I’ve had a head cold for the past 5 or so days, and low, energy, Jeb Bush. My legs are hurting from lack of exercise. It feels sciatic-ey. My head feels a bit dizzy and detached. Am I dissociating? Or just malnourished. I haven’t been logging my food. I haven’t been meditating. Not formally anyway. I did float in pool palms up for 20 minutes…and was aware of internal and external chatter…..does that count? I haven’t been reading the dharma. What have I been doing?

A serious re-set. An opportunity to start where I am. This is not an opening for an ad hominem attack on self. I am not a perfectionist! This is going to just take a bit longer. That’s okay. Isn’t it.

What can you do when your body screams…HEAD COLD..and PERIOD CRAMPS! You have no choice but to halt and thwart all forward direction. It is choiceness.

I am learning to listen to this. To these body signals. And instead of my usual reprimanding, puritanical, harshness, I am choosing to in this moment….START WHERE I AM. BEGIN ANEW. A FRESH START.

AHHHHH! There’s the breath. I found it again. I seriously don’t think I was breathing for the past 5 days. Not consciously anyway.

Today is going to look like a doomsday prepper party. I’m going to reorganize. Watch calories and log food. Walk. Read. And Rest. Meditate in small doses throughout the day and not force a grand sit.

See you tomorrow, because I will be checking in.

Day 38: Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019

Weigh In: 183.8

Topsy turvy. Losing Battle. Yo-Yo. Can’t make this work! F This! This is impossible!

All of these come to mind as a discursive thread of cognitive vomit. I immediately go up a pound and start with the blaming and shaming criticism. I cannot look at allllll of the conditions taking place before I got on the scale this morning. For one, I started my period, so when in the case of NEVER have I actually lost weight on this significant but bullshit day? Since NEVER. It’s always a lose. I mean a gain. But a loss for my win. So maybe I could take this in and digest it into my repertoire…of note….don’t weigh yourself EVER when you start your period. But then the word LOSER comes immediately tagging along. I would love to one day actually be a loser….in the literal conceptual overlay of I lost so many pounds. Can I change the meaning of the word loser in the context of my life?

Add that to my list of things.

Next up is the sabotaging efforts of my new workout program arrived and then I got the worst head cold. It is the petri dish of back to school so this is not out of the ordinary. But I have lost my Mojo before I even had it. The frozen version of Austin Powers who got his mojo heisted.

Okay so all of that amounts to no effort. Feeling bad makes me treat myself harshly. Insight. Instead I need to rest. Replenish. Meditate more….although that has even been a struggle and resisting with heavy avoidance because I am fighting to breathe out of my nose….head colds are so inconvenient.

I can meditate in short bursts with the deep reflection that I need to be kinder, gentler and more patient with myself. This is going to be a long journey. We can’t go uphill the entire way!

Setting better intentions for tomorrow. Today I will take myself off of the hook for all of it and climb back into bed.

Day 33: Thursday Aug. 22, 2019

Weigh In: 182.4

Exactly 6 pounds down! Well….welcome back! It’s been over a week. I’ve had a lot to report, but also nothing to report. I was in St. Louis for a Somatic Experiencing training last Thursday through Monday. I’ve realized how tough it is to exercise and eat right while living momentarily in a hotel and working or attending an all day conference. I made good choices where I could, but also was tired, and ate like I was tired….lazy eating…like pizza! I didn’t exercise the entire time I was there either and definitely felt that. And also, I didn’t meditate. Not once! What?! Definitely felt that. When I got home at the end of every day it was struggle to have to go out for dinner. And then I would just crash! In the mornings I would wake up with an over exaggerated energy…the body lies…it says we have energy when we really don’t. Anyway, I felt journey proud and was anxious to get back to the conference. So no meditation.

I did meditate on the plane ride home Monday late at night, and missed it.

Since being back home, I have run 3 miles the past 3 days. Meditated in sparse increments..i.e. today 7 minutes. Trying to leave out the judgment, shame and perfectionism and just recognize I meditated 7 minutes past 0 and that is something.

Oh…and I almost forgot to mention. In the hotel I was so super bored on Sunday night. Nothing was on the tele except Jaws the original film on TBS, so I ended up getting sucked into Tony Horton’s newest exercise program the Ten Minute Trainer. And… I of course ordered it. It should be arriving any day now. I am actually excited about it. I feel like I need something new to entertain my bored brain.

All in all I will take 6 pounds down in the first month as a win. At that rate by next spring I will feel alllll of my muchness!

Day 25: Wednesday Aug. 14, 2019

Weigh In: 184.4 >>>>> 183.6 after run and lunch! Almost 5 pounds down in less than a month. Let me see if I can make it 6 by end of 30-31 days!

185.6 on Monday; 183.8 on Tuesday; and now 184.4

This is where I give up. I absolutely don’t get it! My body is weird and I have to figure out another way to live in it. On Monday I weighed in and felt like my heart and soul collapsed. I ate spectacularly and exercised and meditated for 14 minutes and none of it showed in the weigh in. Okay, so weight isn’t everything. I do feel like I have more energy, am sleeping a bit better, am able to keep moving forward and am not mired in the usual stress of things. Small bites and small bits of movement forward. Like my closet almost being done. This could have been a task for one whole day, but instead I choose to tackle it in small bits so as not to overwhelm my motivation. This feels do-able and in forward motion. Getting back to intentional living.

So as an experiment Monday after work, which ended around lunch, I was starving and pulled into a McDonalds and ate a quarter pounder with fries and a diet coke. Gross! I feel the shame, but not to pile on, I did it out of an experiment. I have done these types of things in the past, eat like a man, or a lazy person, fast-food and then discover that I actually lose weight the next day. Guess what? It did it again. So WTF?! 1.8 pounds down after blowing my entire day of expendable calorie intake and allowance and then some.

Then Tuesday I was back on my rigorous calorie monitoring, exercised by running 3 miles, meditated for 14 minutes, bed early. Followed all of the rules. And I am back up 0.6.

So I am learning a few things about my body. It doesn’t like to feel like it is starving. And when it does it hangs on to the overage for life or death. Maybe I should increase my calorie intake a bit. Maybe I should intuitively binge occasionally when my body feels like I need to. None of these seem like the healthiest options. And I know that weight is not all of the picture. But it is the weight that is the measurement for my brain to see progress. I am quite frankly super annoyed with everyone who wants to tell me that that is normal fluctuation and a typical water retention from day to day. I somehow refuse to accept this and just know that my body is different.

Also last night I had crazy vivid dreams, and felt discharge of extra energy through my legs. I shook off the energy. Not sure what this means. But maybe this is a slow shedding process. To be determined. But requires more exploration and introspection.

It is all an experiment.

Went for a 3 mile run/walk…it’s hot! And meditated for 6 minutes using a guided imagery of letting go of inner critic.

Day 21: Saturday Aug. 10, 2019

Weigh In: 184.0

6 days it took me to get back here! I don’t get this at all! Yesterday I went to a workshop on menopause, weight gain. The perfect storm. Then I had a ladies lunch. I didn’t blow it. I had two slices of cauliflower pizza and one mojito. Several hours later I was starving! We went out to dinner. Again. Usually this is what kills me. The going out to dinner thing. I shared fajitas with Todd as well as a pitcher of margarita’s. Also the chips and dips were involved. Ugh! Then I come home to connect, unwind, finish OITNB and drink two more glasses of wine! I am really discovering what a vice this is in my current life. Todd even forewarned me. “You are going to regret this tomorrow.” And….that is true. I do regret it.

I meditated for 14 minutes using a visualization to rid your self from self-doubt. Sort of interesting. I got to virtually smash my old self and old talk tracks with a hammer to a mirror. And then re-create my new self full of confidence. Yeah yeah! Confidence in a fat suit.

I went for a 3 mile run.

But before all of that I weighed in. And I lost poundage! How? Yesterday was a total regret post 5pm. But I somehow woke up 0.4 pounds less. I don’t get this at all! I don’t drink, eat like a movie star and go to bed early and gain weight. I drink like a Mexican, and a desperate housewife and binge on guac and I lose weight. This is frustrating.

But I will take it. So starting over now. From here. No more wasted days.

Day 19: Thursday Aug. 8, 2019

Weigh In: 184.4

Sigh! It’s 5:36pm and I wasn’t going to log in today. I was trying to ignore my responsibility to myself. I woke up pissy, full of anger and regret. Last night I drank 4! Glasses of wine! Yep that’s a bottle! It might even be more, because my husband pours a bit over regulation. We were connecting, for the first time in maybe a long time, we had sex yesterday afternoon, and then spent the evening laughing, reminiscing, watching OITNB, and having deep political conversations regarding ICE and deportation, and Katrina refugee camps, etc. We were having a good time. And then before you know it! 4!

I woke up feeling gross. Hung over. Head ache. Hungry. Harried. Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!

We went and did our taxes with a new guy an hour away….yep…I’m aware that it’s August! And then we ate lunch at one of our favorite places, Tupelo Honey. I did okay. But not great. Ate the burger (hungover) but took off the bun. And no fries…instead a side salad. And water. A huge water.

I haven’t exercised.

But I did meditate for 14 minutes to a new, fun, spirituality program. It is working toward opening me up to my intuition. I discovered I am a Healing Intuitive, with a close second in the realms of shamanic ,and soul/Jungian. The Healing energy rests in Chakra 4. The heart center. Of course it does! I feel everything! Even when it is not mine!

Tomorrow is a new day. Tonight I am loading up on the water and going to bed early!

Letting go and moving on. Keep moving forward!

Day 17: Tuesday Aug. 6, 2019

Weigh In: 184.8

Yesterday I weighed in at 185.6 so I tried to ignore it. Avoid it. DON’T LOOK and definitely DON”T ADMIT IT! Sunday I didn’t work out. We did go to the Buddhist center so I did get in some meditation. But then we went out for brunch and this is wear my “being tired” let my guard down. Remember the good ole’ AA adage of HALT? Never let yourself get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired. Or at least recognize when you are one of those and don’t make any decisions during that refractory period. I even look back at my post and saw that I blatantly admitted that I was tired. So what did I do? I ate and drank like I was tired. Lazy actually. I filed my plate with such and such, and drank a liquor drink for lunch. Lazy! And also co-dependent. My husband was partaking too, but somehow his eating and drinking choices never seem to impact him. Not psychologically anyway. Where here I am torn up about it. So now, the past two days I am recovering from this over indulgence and with regret.

Not that I need to see the scale go down every single time. That might be a perfectionistic goal and frankly unachievable. I know I will fluctuate on some days due to conditions outside of my control. But to go up 1.6 pounds in a day. That’s human error.

I din’t exercise yesterday because I was sabotaged in the morning with motherhood. My 12 year old son texted me to come get him from the nurse on the 3rd day of school. Nerves and stomach issues, and on an antibiotic which is tormenting his tummy. I was literally in my running gear and had my ear buds in when I saw the text and instead had to run to my car. Then run home. Then settle him in with TLC and a ginger ale. Then my time was up for exercise. I had to shower and get to work. Bogus Meatloaf! My husband got in a 2 hour workout by the way, and missed the whole entire happenings of my sacrifice. Ugh! No resentment here!

I did some slight meditation during breaks at work. I taught meditation all day to clients. Does that count? I find it hard to actually meditate and guide meditation at the same time. My great teacher Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi has seemed to perfect this dual ability and can multitask at giving and receiving simultaneously.

I felt tired yesterday. And a bit brain foggy. Not on my game. Related to this? Not sure yet.

I feel tired today, and a bit irritable. I am pushing my husband away. This morning he was loving and affectionate and I wanted to punch him. Definitely not making any food choices until this passes. He encouraged me to go to yoga, I aggressively declined. Why I continue to feel I need to do this warrior style on my own without anybody’s help or encouragement is still to be determined.

I’m going for a run/walk. And then I’m going to meditate.

Day 15: Sunday Aug. 4, 2019

Weigh In: 184.0

Down 4.4 pounds in two weeks! Alright! I’ll take it!

Here is what is working:

  1. Upping my game in all realms of my life.

  2. Meditation is more regular and just for me instead of feeling like I need to study it for my clients. (Today went to the Buddhist Center and it feels so good to meditate in a large room of people.)

  3. Walking and or running daily. I didn’t today, because my legs needed a rest. But it feels so good to move my body. Feel my breath. And jack up the music.

  4. Counting my calories with My Fitness Pal. I have used so many expensive gimmicky subscription app models, but when it comes down to it, the free version works just fine. I have really watched my eating. Cut out excess bread, rice, starchy-starches. Watching condiments, like butter, sour cream, dressings. Taking my time to enjoy my food a bit more. Not shoving it in my face. Mindfully eating.

  5. Journaling. Some how I think holding myself accountable through these words is helping me not only get out of the incessant chatter in my mind regarding this “being fat” topic, but it also puts it down on paper which somehow makes it a little more real.

I feel a bit tired today. The final days of my period, so that might be just what it is. But I’ll be heading to bed early with no wine. I am ready to start my week with a new goal of 2 more pounds and hope to get up and go for a run/walk before I have to go to work.

Day 13: Friday Aug. 2, 2019

Weigh In: 184.6

Okay, I am one day away from doing this thing for exactly 2 weeks. When I calculated my goals into My Fitness Pal I was hoping to lose 2 pounds a week which is the most aggressive setting. Something is working! And I am doing the happy, happy dance. If I look back to the stormy mental gymnastics over the past few weeks there were indeed some harsh moments. But, something is working. This journaling is working. The calorie tracking is working. The meditation is working. The walking/running is working. I am throwing everything I have at this, because I want to be done with this challenge so I can get on with the next, whatever that might be.

Today I have eaten supremely. I went to lunch with a friend, had a spinach salmon wrap. Ate salad without the dressing. It was fine. Ate the salmon out of the wrap and didn’t touch it. It was delicious, and fine without the wrap. Job well done!

I meditated for 5 minutes this morning and then was interrupted, but I meditated for 17 yesterday willingly. I’m letting go of this quantitative measurement and know that the 5 minutes might have just been what I needed for today.

Feeling good. Positive. Keep on Trucking.

Day 12: Thursday Aug. 1, 2019

Weigh In: 185.4

Come on! I have been absolutely working this program and the scale won’t budge! WTF! I know I have my period and that probably isn’t forgiving on the scale. But I have literally eaten lettuce with turkey rolled up in it for lunch for the past 3 days. I have stopped Starbucks cold turkey and am settling into my new morning coffee with only 30 calorie creamer. for dinner last night I ate a baked potato and for the first time in my life I didn’t put butter or sour cream on it! That should be rewarded right there with at least 0.2 of a loss. But nada! I drank a crap ton of water yesterday and went to bed at 9:30p

I walked 3 miles today in the August in Georgia heat. My kids started back to school today, so I’m not feeling stressed. In fact I have left today fairly easy. I am staying on track with my one shelf or one drawer per day clean out. And just finished that task by clearing out half of my hanging clothes in my closet.

The one thing I have left to do is my meditation and I just got out of the shower and am planning to do that now. A 20 minute somatic meditation to explore what is going on inside. Stuck energy in my belly?

Minus the 0 weight loss for the past few days, my mood seems to be stable, my energy is better. I feel more capable and energetic. And am having to be teflon for deflecting all of the anxious negativity of the nervous nelly moms around here for todays back to school. I feel excited, and no stress! So in that sense I guess I can take that as a win.

Day 11: Wednesday July 31, 2019

Weigh In: 185. 4

I have been soooooo good! It’s unbelievable. I feel my appetite curbing a little. And I am finding routine in morning and lunch choices. Todd was traveling a bit this week and I count on those days to help, because I go to bed a lot earlier, and usually tend to eat better, and drink less. Wait! Am I still that co-dependent? Years of therapy to learn to differentiate and when I just typed it out I realize how much of a pull I have back into old behavior patterns. My mental gymnastics states this: I don’t eat like other girls so you should like me more. I don’t eat stupid salads with dressing on the side, you can take comfort in the fact that you can enjoy a steak with me. I can drink you under the table and gloat about it. I can’t stand pitiful, waffy girls, that are so skinny and eat lettuce…or rather just pick at their lettuce. No toughness. No meaty fierceness. No masculine qualities. No suffering. They haven’t been through shit.

Okay. That felt good, in private. But I have to remember my compassion training. I am older now. That was 20 something me. And it kinda sounds like I want to be a man anyway.

Okay. Refocus. I haven’t gained any pounds. Haven’t lost any either. But did drop those 0.2 bullshit from 2 days ago. Still progress. Plus, I have my period and am rapidly approaching menopause. So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice. I actually signed up next week to take a menopause, weight gain and moodiness class. Good Grief!

I walked 3 miles today with a little more running and speed walking. I ate like a bird. And guess what? Todd is back in town so we are having steaks. Sigh!

I also skipped meditation today. I feel it for sure. The yard guys were here and I always find it weird to meditate when they are hustling right outside my window. Plus it’s the last day of summer and my oldest son had Freshman Orientation. Unbelievable. This weight is coming off this year! So I can be a cute little high school mom.

Day 9: Monday July 29, 2019

Weigh In: 185.6

Well last night I went to bed without dinner at 6:30p.m. and had NO ALCOHOL and this morning I went for a 2 mile run and I somehow gained 0.2 pounds. So one possible take away is that fasting or going under my necessary 1300/day calorie allowance actually stresses my body and stores fat. It might also just be stress. School starts this week and today was Chase’s freshmen orientation and I feel behind. I’m not exactly sure what I feel behind in, but just feel like everything in my house is stressing me out. I feel like I want to remodel both bathrooms upstairs, tear out the worn out carpet, redo the kitchen and landscape the backyard with a hot tub! Then I will feel okay! Right!?

I feel like all of the junk drawers are extra junkie and most of the hoarded coupons in there are expired and for things we will never purchase…i.e. Mrs. Paul’s Fish Sticks buy 2 and get one free. We also have passes to Universal Studios and Andretti’s and other places that we will probably not be back to any time soon, if at all, and if we do go, I promise that we will forget these cards and leave them in the junk drawer.

My new goal. Start where I am. Know that I ate well today….so far. I went for a 2 mile run. Progress. And I organized 2 shelves in my closet. I got rid of like 8 pairs of jeans that I held on for so long thinking I would lose weight and fit in them at some point. And now, they just look dated and sad. And old me. New me is excited to stay motivated and buy new jeans. For cute, middle aged hotties. Not for 20 somethings that got in the crosshairs of late grunge and Big Shirt Ass Wraps from Abercrombie and a hippie tour with the Grateful Dead, and a young professional who works predominantly with social worker’s who adorn with a drip fashion style.

Updated plan is to keep moving forward. Clean one to two drawers or shelves a day. Keep exercising. And meditating.

Off to listen to a 10 minute music meditation on Insight Timer.

Day 7: Saturday July 27, 2019

Weigh In: 185.4

3 lbs down in 6 days! I am so proud of myself. My body feels tired today but not depressed or anhedonic. I had a wicked argument with my husband last night over what seems to be nothing now. I didn’t feel heard, or seen, or validated. Like a child does when a mother dismisses a nightmare or monsters under a bed. I meditated in contemplation this morning for about 14 minutes. What I discovered in my body was grief. How was I so able to identify this emotion? Well, because I am very familiar with grief and its pronounced presence in my life after my mother passing almost 7 years ago. Turns out that yesterday, 7 years ago I put my mother in hospice and it was the beginning of the end. So much of our daily reactions are electrically charged from implicit body memory. When we get closer and shine some awareness on what we are holding energetically, we can become clearer and then and only then make a choice to respond. We have to bring the unconscious to the conscious in order to even know what is happening. Otherwise we continue to have arguments over what is seemingly nothing. It is not nothing, it is something, but we are not clear. This is the ultimate “me” plan. When we provoke others and lure them into arguments and debates and push them away dramatically and then telepathically want them back again, this is when we try to control our physical, emotional and mental interactions with our loved ones. But we are not all online. We are not using our known human sensory channels of the body. We don’t really know what we are feeling, in fact most of our feeling is blocked out and shut down in complete sensory deprivation. So the argument feels like a sideswipe to the other person. Out of left field. “Where is this coming from?” He even asked. “It’s coming from me watching your continued and historical patterns of not giving a shit about me!”

Sometimes we don’t know until we know. And then we can do better. I wouldn’t have known at 10:00 last night that my body was harboring grief and that sometimes manifests as anger, and hurt, and pain. But if I could have paused! Just paused! Bit my tongue! And paused! Then used the skills of what I like to teach as:to go Slower & Lower, then it might not have ensued in mass destruction, a slammed patio door, and a sleepless night.

Slower and Lower is a practice that really works for me. It gets me back into my body and I grant full exploratory permission to scout my internal landscape for clues.

This morning I practiced this right when I woke up with regret. No Regrats! So I searched purposefully, but without an outcome. I wasn’t looking for anything, which is how a clear meditation works. We can’t go looking for an outcome that we are hoping to have. That’s the ole’ I told ya so method always ending in righteousness! Instead, just greet whatever comes, with interest, curiosity and a beginner’s mind. That’s when I saw it so clearly. Grief! Pain! Loss! Heartbreak!

There is some kind of relief when you can put your finger on it. The pulse of the emotion. Name it to Tame It as Rick Hanson wisely says. I am not sure it tames it in my experience, but there is comfort in knowing….ahh! That’s it! That makes sense. Then you can move on. It feels like you found and connected the last edge piece of a puzzle and know you have the complete frame. You know how much space on the table it is going to take up and the dimensions don’t seem so ambiguous anymore.

I completed a 3 mile walk/run. Have eaten extremely mindfully today. And went on a short hike with my family and two pugs to visit my mother’s bench we dedicated to her after she died. It was a beautiful day.

Oh, and in case it was a cliff hanger. Todd and I made up. He knows what to do know in these tough moments with me. He is holding a large space and it can contain alllllll of me. We have been gentle with each other. And our love feels healthy. That is wisdom. That only comes from practicing, practicing and practicing compassion meditation.

Day 6: Friday July 26, 2019

Weigh In: 186.2

Here is where it gets hard for me. I am down 2.2 pounds! So my mind relaxes and I’m heading into a weekend which is where I tend to splurge. I am craving routine and the past two days have been sporadic. I have not exercised and I have not meditated. And I feel it! In my body, mind and soul! I set these unrealistic expectations that I am going to start a daily routine and then around day 3 I have missed one day and get harsh. In this case it was day 5. If you notice….no post. I coast. There is no coasting, but also I need to drop those silly expectations…..which are always a resentment waiting to happen. More realistically, I need to celebrate my mini success of 2 down in less than a week. Regain mental clarity. And BE KIND! I need to come back home to myself and start again with a fresh start right now with an intention to go into this weekend gently and mindfully. Like a tiger walking toward prey.

I will meditate now for 5 minutes and see how it goes. I might feel like I can extend that. But I don’t want to shoot to high and then fail. Which is exactly how I got to today anyway. The negative self-talk of seeing it as failing when I don’t post, meditate or exercise for one day. Instead see it as #failBetter Failing Better is a tip I learned from Pema Chodron. And it works way better than just flat out failing. I can skip, one day, but not make it a habit. I can get better. I can feel the work being done. I can regain my confidence that I can do this!

Off to breathe for 5 minutes purposefully.

Day 4: Wednesday July 24, 2019

Weigh In: 187.6

Well 0.2 down after a late night at DMB concert and eating crappy Chipotle for dinner. That’s not too bad I suppose. I made better choices than I normally would have….no tortilla, no sour cream. I feel like crap today and have been on the toilet since 9:00a.m. Chipotle didn’t chop their onions or jalapeños enough so I was picking out huge squares of them. I know I missed a few and my stomach is paying today. Not to mention the three beers at the concert….sigh.

Dave definitely nursed me back to self last night. The happiness and love felt between me and all three of my boys was contagious. It inspired me to do. Do better. Be fit and last longer for my two sons and be more connected to self with a happier soul, which currently feels heavy…because it is….under all of this soul crushing weight.

Yesterday I organized two shelves in my closet and tossed out some overdue articles. Today I cleaned one shelf and also got rid of some old shorts and skirts. I am finding that I am shedding in all realms of my life. Little by little, like the tiny inch worm that could.

10 minute vippassana with sound bath done!

I will not get in any exercise today, that’s a reality I need to embrace. My stomach is rotten, I have already showered, I have some clients to see in an hour, and after work I head straight to the ballpark to meet up with the boys. So what I can do is eat politely and compassionately and not destroy my stomach for tomorrow.

Day 3: Tuesday July 23, 2019

Weigh In: 187.8

I am feeling irritable in my teeth. My jaw. The cartilage in my nose feels tense.

Yesterday at around 1:00 I had 320 calories remaining in my app. This is such a mind-fuck! I had a coffee and a yogurt for breakfast. For lunch I had a 6 inch tuna sandwich from Subway. It seemed a wiser choice. But I can guarantee Jarad didn’t order this if this is supposed to work. I was at an all day golf tournament with my kids and Subway was the tallest midget as far as food choices around that area. Okay the bread could have been discarded and I could have just had it wrapped in lettuce. And I could have just had the turkey instead of tuna salad where the mayo is a dead give-away. But the cold cuts at Subway look congealed and like they came out of a mold.

So with 320 left for the entire rest of the day, I wore it as a badge to be bitchy. My husband snacked in the car on the way home and I was shut-down and defiant. If my body could be my middle finger, it was in its entirety. He asked if I was okay. Technically I was, but I was starving. And therefore pissed off. I can’t have those trail mix snacks because that would be 200 calories and then I have 120 left for all of dinner.

We went out to eat for dinner to formalize Todd’s 45th. He wanted Italian. I ordered the soft shell crab…so good…and in season…which is only like 2 weeks out of the year. I skipped the pasta it came on and thought I was doing well. Then the wine. And the wine.

I was already in the hole, so I came home and had another 1 1/2 glasses of sauvignon blanc.

Plus, no exercise. Why? Because I was at the golf tournament all day. Sacrificing for my kids. Giving up myself.

Stop. This is where I need to apply self-compassion. I would have my clients retroactively examine this and have them see that they knew well in advance this tournament was happening so I could have planned for it.

  1. gotten up earlier to exercise……sabotage….I don’t wake up and exercise…it is death

  2. worn exercise clothes and walked at the tournament during the long periods of waiting that typically carve out these events…….did that….but the only walking I got in was back and forth to the toilet with my younger son who was barely hanging on and sick….but somehow still came in first place! Seriously impressive. And I was happy to be there for him, in my mind and presence. He needed a caretaker. I cut out walking willingly on his behalf.

  3. Walked when I got home, or even after dinner…..but of course…the wine.

  4. We can keep going here with the yes butting…..

  5. Or start over right now, today in this moment.

Chalk it up as a day of……well of seeing how hard this is and how I talk to myself. And how I hold it all in and blame others. How I am not easy to be around. Of how I need to do this work to be free from this suffering! There is a path, I’m on it. It will be slower than I hope, but more realistic than all the other crash diets, Beachbody routines, and subscription BS that you gain the weight back on.

Starting again, with a fresh start. Beginner’s Mind.

10 minute shamatha practice. So good to reset.

And a 3 mile walk/run.

I’m back!

Day 2: Monday July 22, 2019

Weigh In: 188.4

Disappointing! Negative Talk! Discursiveness! Negativity! Self-Shaming! Stopping Now!

Allowing myself time to breathe and course correct. It would have been ideal if I dropped a little. Even the .4, but also examining why I would have had expectations for this quantitative success. Here is where it gets hard! I apply myself and try, and don’t see any results so I am quick to unleash the backlash. Like a fire hydrant of giving up.

But I get to start over. Again and again. Fresh start. Today. I notice how the weigh in without any reduction immediately makes me dance on the impulses of harsh reactivity. I feel irritable ALL-OVER-MY-BODY. I feel impatience with everyone. I feel short-tempered and closed. I feel like I don’t get to do anything that I WANT! I feel 13. I feel like I don’t have anything to give to my kids, who have an important day with a big golf tournament. I feel like I want to blow it off and self-absorb.

Begin again. Fresh start. Starting Now! Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. 5 slow, deep, deliberate breaths. I feel better.

About 3 weeks ago I hopped back on the calorie monitoring train and rejoined the My Fitness Pal Program. I have tried virtually every other app, including WW, and the new Zoom platform, but I am not interested in paying a subscription this time. I use all of these programs like a neanderthal and really only need them to scan in my food. I don’t log my water intake, or my exercise (that’s a bonus), and I sort of despise the group chat and social check-ins. I am sure I am blockading myself by judging these social interactions, but the pathetic engagements of having to post how happy I am that I only drank 6 ounces of wine, seems disparaging in some way. I didn’t drink 6 ounces of wine by the way. In fact, I don’t ever think I have had only 6 ounces of wine in a sitting. Why bother?

Anyway, yesterday I feel like I did pretty well logging in my calories. I had 777 left prior to dinner, so I just quit then. I have to work on that I suppose. It’s not over until the…….sings! Keep logging all the way until the end of the day. I also ate dinner at the Del Boca Vista hour of 4:00p.m. I was hungry, and this just cuts out any unnecessary snacking time. I have read we shouldn’t go to bed on a full stomach.

Today’s plan is to put on my exercise clothes right now and go move my body! Keep logging my food intake. Be kind to myself. Chant the mantra, “I am not missing out” when we go out to eat lunch today and I need to order a salad instead of something I feel like I deserve.

Day 1: Sunday July 21, 2019

Weigh In: 188.4

Almost 50 pounds to drop!

Unbelievable! How did I let it go so far? When did all of this occur? Was I asleep? Am I in denial?

Stop! Start where you are! Right now, give yourself gentle permission to begin anew. At least this is what I tell my clients. It would be the bare minimum to take my own advice. The absolute least I could do!

We just got back from vacation yesterday from Cape Cod with my family. It is hard to maintain and not gain because they eat out 3 meals a day. How can you deprive yourself of lobster rolls? In my families defense, they exercise like its their religion. I walked twice. I was on vacation….sigh!

So far, here is the start of my new day. I have a newly found motivation after getting back in town. I was inspired by my aunts and uncles. Pursuing their 70s with youth and vigor. I need to cultivate strength once more. Todd is at the gym with purpose. He encourages me every morning to join him. I think this backfires due to the messenger, not the message. How well are we at listening and taking advice from our spouses?

Wake up without an alarm. It makes an amazing difference when I allow this sleep. Feel a bit groggy, drank 4 glasses of wine last night in celebration of Todd’s 45th birthday and am regretting this now. Too heavy to do sitting meditation posture so lie in bed with knees up and witness breathing for 5 minutes. Is this enough? In…..out…….out……noticing no gripping thoughts, but awakening to some tension and gripping in my neck and shoulders. Most likely greeting another day of uncertain irritability.

Have two cups of coffee. Nespresso double espresso with sugar free vanilla creamer. Desperately wanting a Starbucks latte, but mindful of cutting out not only the expense but the difference in 110 calories vs. the 30 calories in home remedy coffee. Upon opening the refrigerator I see the tiramisu birthday cake from last nights celebration and think wantingly how well it would accompany my coffee. Nope. Slam the fridge door shut. Witnessing harsh talk siphoning between my temples. It shouldn’t feel harsh and puritanical and punishing, that’s how we teach and learn meditation. Be gentle…be gentle….be gentle…..I hear my own voice. But it doesn’t feel gentle. It feel harsh. Right now, it does. Compassion for self needs to be fierce at times. And that is okay. Having cake for breakfast will only leave me with dismal, apocalyptic regrets 5 minutes after the dopamine rush. Then I will start my day depleted and wanting to start over and ruin the next choice, and the next, and the next, waiting to begin again tomorrow instead of now. Resting in the mindful self-talk of I am making a good choice now, in this moment to not have tiramisu. That is the most compassionate thing to do. Ugh! It feels so hard! Noticing impatience in the long, arduous trail ahead.

Moving on from this stickiness in my kitchen I am going to go for 3 mile walk around my neighborhood loop. This will reinforce my feel goodness. I’ve got skin in the game today. Blood, sweat and tears to look forward to.