Transformations

Roberval Antic ScaleNew Years are opportunities for clean slates. This is why we love it to make goals and resolutions that we generally forget one or two weeks later, if not less, after we have made them.

I am ready for changes but I fear them so much.

I wonder what is so scary in my letting go of bad habits, of clutter, of useless papers or old clothes, and most of all, of letting go of my paralyzing fears.

Four years ago, I started a new business and I was very excited about it. Because of my previous experience with small business, I knew that if by the end of the third year I was not making any profit, said business was to be considered as a hobby, rather than a business. I managed to make profit at the end of the first year, but never enough to hire myself in my own business. The end of the third year has come and getting my books ready for taxes is scaring me, because I am afraid it is showing my failures and my shortcomings, when in reality I should be really proud of myself.

 

But I come from a culture where I was taught how to spot mistakes rather than catch successful endeavors, how to improve and strive for the perfection, rather than to value the effort and the enthusiasm.

It is very hard for me to let go of those cultural messages, to shake my bad habits of judging myself harshly all the time.

 

At the same time, I was getting so enthusiastic about my new venture, I started to log in a lot of data, in the move of self-quantification and some amazing transformations occurred because I did so: I was able to lose 40 and some pounds, I managed my bouts of severe depression and hypomania to an acceptable level of function among the most remarkable feats.

Logging data was not the solution to the underlying problems I have with my food or mood disorders. It was merely a guide for me to not bury my head in sand and then realize when it is too late that I have sunk at the bottom of a pool or smashed into a wall because of speed. And I am forever thankful for the apps that help me keep my life in check that way. Otherwise I really can’t say how I would have navigated those years.

 

But what happened about transforming myself was also too scary, obviously: when I was slimming down, people were taking notice, everyone was but me. I was not feeling different. I was feeling lighter and flattered of course, with the compliments and encouragement I was receiving, but I was most of all feeling annoyed by the attention it was getting me, as if it was signaling some looming doom in the future because of that.

 

And I knew it exactly when it happened. Like a switch one day, the binges were back.

I fought them for twenty-four months. And on the second anniversary of that fatal switch, I kind of gave up, feeling like it was a lost battle.

 

But this is a new year, a new slate, and I know that the mental negative messages that I keep hearing inside my head are just that, mental negative messages. Not any reality. I can replace those messages with positive ones, like if I have done it once, I can do it twice (and thrice, why not! oh do I love the word thrice!!)

 

So for a first start in 2015 I will transform the look of this blog and change its theme, because it is time.

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The power of feed-back

Lily of the gardenI have really been wondering why I stopped blogging as often lately.

One of the reasons could be because I am too busy. But it does not sound right. I do spend lots of time doing things that take time that I could skip and write instead. I have been writing regularly and consistently for days in a row, with discipline and determination, but I have never chosen to write and share publicly.

Because when I choose to share publicly, I am being very careful of what I have written.

I want to choose the proper topic, so that it would be appealing to my readers. Interesting and informative. Also thought provoking and inspiring. It then becomes more difficult to decide what will fit the criteria.

Then I censor myself a lot.

Then I doubt my syntax, grammar and style.

Then time goes by and somethings comes up to cut the inspiration.

If I get distracted, I lose track of what I had wanted to write about.

If I get interrupted, I lose the desire to share about the initial idea, and maybe another topic starts invading my feelings and my need to share about, but it does not fit the criteria of either being interesting, inspiring or thought provoking, it has become more selfish or attention grabbing and I resent those blogposts from others so why would I do the same to my readers and impose a boring self-absorbed post with no added value?

So in the end, I keep writing for myself, privately, with least efforts to correct, rewrite or build a real blogpost that would be looking like what I have wanted to do in the beginning when I had in mind to share my one day at a time, in a fashion that would draw attention to my passions and topics of choice. And in the end I resent myself for being quite lazy after all and neglecting my readers and my blogs, both in English and in French.

A sad reflection on a depressed mind.

Many around me often wondered why I was not taking medication for my depression. I have recently been working with a coach with the goal to achieve relief and inner peace and transform my outcomes in life, in order to truly shine and reach my full potential. I have shared with her about my mental conditions very early in the process but luckily for her, this was not a condition that she had ever suffered from, and since she is not a therapist, it was not easy to predict how difficult things were going to be in the process of our work together: I dreaded the moment when she was going to let me know that I needed to try medications again otherwise we were not going to see any progress arrived at a certain point, the same way it had always seemed to happen every time I had been determined to work on myself.

This could mean that indeed, the solution IS medication so that I can lift the lid that blocks my path to self development. Unfortunately, every time I meet that time, I have to remember that I have been on medications and that, if I have to agree that the medications were useful in some ways, they were killing so many of the other things that make my life have a purpose in other ways, and in the end the benefits were fading to the point of disappearing completely to leave me worse than before and I started being able to relive again only after I had finally weaned from the medications!

A healthy diet and a regimen of daily exercise have been much more efficient, even if they are much more work than just taking pills and visiting regularly a doctor and a therapist. Every time I have fallen back off the horse, I have seen the depression come back very strongly. Unfortunately, the exercise and a lighter weight and better physical form have not kept the depression completely at bay, and when it has come back, it has also impaired my ability to sustain the very hard discipline that it takes to keep the healthy diet and exercise, because it impaired my interest in everything including those things that were helping.

Sometimes, asking for help is not asking for a fix. Today, I know that the kind of help I receive from acknowledgment is greater and more effective than any kind of medication. I need the stroke of compliments on a job well done despite the perceived imperfections of it. I need the recognition of the work I choose to show publicly because I believe it can speak to others and reflect on what is shining and burning inside even when I feel it not.

What You Eat in Private You Will Wear in Public

Source: google.com via Debbie on Pinterest

I have been struggling with binges as far as I can remember in my life. Well, at least, as far as my teenage years, after I had experienced my first issues with Eating Disorders.

Binges can overwhelm the rest of an entire day, even weeks if not dealt with head on.

There is obviously no easy fix to them, otherwise it would be known. One of the major difficulty about binges is that they are part of the general process of utter denial in one’s life. Keeping tracks is a key to successful behavior modification, but the nature of a binge itself makes it very hard to actually keep track of what is happening. What would be so useful, as to understand what precipitated a binge, or how damaging the binge is in reality, go in a blur because of the very high level of anxiety that is attached to the act of binging. Anxiety tends to overshadow any other kind of thinking surrounding a binge and it becomes an uncontrollable escalade.

So yes, I like it very much to think of choosing to binge on vegetables when the spell falls all of sudden. It is highly unlikely that it is happening, unless the carrots, celery sticks, brocoli florets or other convenient vegetables are available – and appealing without any dip to make them more tasteful!

My journey towards the goal weight

wifibodyscaleblackStarting on February 13, 2011 I embarked on a long journey which I hope will be successful of taming my demons with food. I had gradually accumulated pounds after pounds to an excessive amount, both for my health and for my looks. Having battled with eating disorders since the age of thirteen, dieting was not the issue, but losing weight had become nearly impossible because of a terrible habit of starving myself regularly in order to mask the disorder.

I started using an online tool called Lose It! that proved very helpful because it allowed me to monitor, control and make myself accountable. Cheating was not necessary, I was very motivated by what I was seeing, the total calorie budget, the badges received, the interactions with my friends, and the precise portion control: whether I was in a binging mode or a starving one, I could closely see what I was doing with food. The whole idea was to balance my intake with what I was burning as calories, not to diet.

In the end, I bought the Curves Complete ® program, in an attempt to lose the last pounds I had to lose. I had already lost nearly forty pounds, and wanted to reach my goal weight of 130 pounds. I decided to journal during the twelve weeks of following the program.

I will now post the entries of my past journaling regularly here. Please feel free to comment, critique or encourage those efforts if you can relate!

You can also friend me on Loseit!