“No More”…A Manifesto

No more will I allow myself to claim victimhood.

No more wil I be ruled by my emotions.

No more will I eat to medicate.

No more will I look in the mirror and hate who I’ve become.

No more will I make decisions that shorten my life.

No more will I think about how things will be once I lose weight.

No more will I feel worthless because life hasn’t turned out the way I expected.

No more will I feel helpless, defeated, like I can never accomplish my goals.

No more will I be afraid.

Yesterday was the last day.  Today, no more.

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Emotional Hangover

Sorry, guys.  It’s been a very emotional week.  Last Wednesday was my last choir rehearsal at our main campus, so it was full of goodbyes and tears.  Then, my closest friend at work left to move away for his dream job, and Friday was his last day.  I’m happy for him, but Friday was a tough day.

I tried to do an outdoor run on Saturday, since it was only in the low 70’s, and I did okay for a little bit, but it was so humid that breathing was a little difficult, so Mr. PhD and I ended up walking most of it.  I felt like it was a bit of a workout fail, because I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be humid in three weeks when we do our 5K.  But we went to the Carolina Raptor Center and we “adopted” a little Screech Owl named Lana, who only has one eye!

Isn’t she cute!  Our adoption fee goes toward her food and medical care, and we get a photo and information, and we also get to have one-on-ones with her for pictures.  She is absolutely adorable; she also has some wing injuries and can’t be released into the wild, so she “educates” Raptor Center visitors during the live bird talks.  If you’re anywhere near Charlotte, NC, you’ve got to go to this place.  We’re members, so we get to go as often as we want for free, and the work they do for injured/orphaned birds of prey is incredible. 

Anyway, that perked up Saturday, but yesterday was our first official day at our new church campus and I was homesick.  I know God has big plans and I’m excited, but I’m also insecure and shy, and I don’t deal well with change…so I knew the adjustment was going to be tough even though it’s a good thing. 

I was wiped today.  Mr. PhD thinks that it may be the emotional toll, but I think it’s something I ate.  I slept for an hour this evening and am about to go back to bed.  We’re going to the gym for sure on Wednesday, and maybe tomorrow depending on some tentative plans that we’ve got.

AND!!  Our best friend is back from Iraq and will be home Friday, which means that we’re going camping for a week next week!!

I’ll see if I can muster up something more interesting tomorrow; for how, I hope you guys have a good night 🙂

The Food-Soul Link and Why It Sucks…

A very secure kitty, snuggled on my lap in a “blanket sandwich”

So, Jenna posted a blog today where she asked readers to comment regarding their favorite food memories.  And, what I intended to be a fun little jaunt down memory lane ended up being a full-on, sobbing, snot-running, cry-fest on the way home from work.  But, my thanks to you, Jenna, because it also resulted in an emotional breakthrough on a larger level.

So…”transparency alert” here…proceed at your own risk:

Food has the power both to heal and to kill.  It can soothe our emotions, but at the same time can destroy our bodies.  Thinking about my happiest food memory is hard for me.  Feelings of nostalgia are tempered by shame because my best food memories don’t seem “good enough.”  They aren’t memories of eating healthy food.  Actually, they’re seldom about food at all.  White rice and squeeze butter.  Cut-up hotdogs with ketchup.  Those are my favorite food memories.  They’re not healthy.  They’re processed, and they’re boring.

But they remind me of weeknights when my mom had to work and it would just be my dad and me.  And I would usually eat something like that, and then we’d watch USA Cartoon Express and then Airwolf.  To this day, I still love cut-up hotdogs and rice.

For me, the food-soul connection is a real battle.  Birthday cake reminds me of countless shared cakes between my dad and me (because his birthday is ten days before mine).  Boxed macaroni and powdered cheese reminds me of Mom’s go-to dish that she knew would make me happy.  A HUGE round slice of watermelon and a grapefruit spoon reminds me of summer afternoons as a kid, eating and spitting seeds into the plate.  Mom always likes to have the watermelon “butts” 🙂

The common thread among these memories is security.  There’s very little that’s more secure than being a kid in the home of two loving parents and knowing that you’ll be taken care of no matter what.  And that security is gone–replaced by work, bills, an unstable economy, a husband in grad school, and the knowledge that I’m now responsible for my own well-being.  And I’m doing a piss-poor job taking care of my own well-being.   Thus, food and tv become my security.  And eight years of seeking security through food takes its toll.

I don’t have the answers on this one, honestly.  Just writing about this brings me to tears.  Looking at food as a source of security is unhealthy and dangerous, but I haven’t yet discovered what healthy things/practices can fill that void.  I’m open to suggestions, though.  What does it for you?