Some Tips to Talk About…

Hi There Friends!

Today, it is, of course, raining where I live! This seems to be our summer trend. While I am glad out state is no longer under the never ending drought, I would seriously love some more sunshine and pool time! Sigh… I guess we need to count our blessings?

I wanted to check in and share some tips from my last meeting with my dietitian, who, as I said, I LOVE. All of the advice I have been given has told me to choose health care providers who you trust and who you believe are working with and for you. I believe these things are true of her, and I am willing and open to share with her and take her advice. Sometimes, I feel like I should pay her to be my counselor, as well!

One newer aspect of our work is, that I now send her pictures of my meals. She looked at my blog and said the pictures of food were very helpful for her, because it allowed her to see, not just read in a food journal, my food portions. I have been doing this for her over the past couple of weeks, and each time we meet, she assess the pictures beforehand. At our meeting, she takes time with me to look at each picture, and we talk about which meals were on point with food choice and serving size, as well as, the meals where I need to make some adjustments.

After our meting earlier this week, one of the main areas I will be working on is increasing the amount of food in my meals. This would either be accomplished by me eating more in terms of portion size or adding something to a meal. For example, the meal below really seemed like a good amount of food when I made it, but I was hungry about an hour later! She suggested that I need to add a cup of yogurt or cottage cheese with berries, which would also round out the meal by adding some dairy.

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This meal consisted of lasagna made in an 8X8 pan. Although it seemed to be a generous portion, she said I might could have tried to eat half of the lasagna from the pan, rather than just a fourth to a third of the pan.

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Hopefully, you are beginning to gain some understanding of where she is seeking to guide me in my eating habits. I will be honest, it is not easy for me. It has become habit for me to eat a certain way, and I feel comfort and control in this aspect of my life. None of us like change, because it takes work, chiefly mental work. In light of knowing this about myself, I asked her if I could take pictures of almost all of my meals and snacks and send them to her, and she said bring on the photos! This will not only allow her to see what I am eating, and it will keep me accountable, preventing me from cutting corners or reverting back to previous habits. As I said, it takes work, but I am willing to do it!

Thank you, once again, for reading my thoughts in the space. I hope you and your family have a fabulous Fourth of July!

 

Back from a Break

Good Monday Morning!

We have experienced SO MUCH RAIN in the past week, and I am thrilled that the sun is finally making an appearance. This morning, it actually feels like a crisp fall morning, which is highly irregular for our part of south. I got out and enjoyed a slow walk earlier this morning soaking up the scenery and weather while listening to a podcast. It was truly relaxing.

The family I babysit for has been out of town, which means I have had a good bit of free time. This is a gift, because I have had extra time to see friends and can pretty much spend my days how I choose. However, I have struggled with this lack of routine and schedule, and I found myself googling “classes,” such as calligraphy, smocking, and pottery, I could take, but all of the classes I found were taking a break for this portion of the summer. I am trying to think of a house project I could complete, but our house is pretty settled for the moment. I will certainly update you if I choose a new venture in my current downtime!

I have made the decision to throw away my planner and not make, “to do,” lists. This sounds counterintuitive to being productive, but I see this as a challenge for me. I decided, that if I forget something in the day or do not complete a task I had envisioned, it was either not that important or it can be done another day. I do still have specific events stored in my i cal, but these are specific items which, generally, would affect someone else if I was to forget them. I will be honest, that it has been somewhat freeing, but I have had to be intentional about not, “listing” and “to do-ing,” because this has been my default for as long as I can remember.

In speaking of living more in freedom, rather than in my default desire to control myself, this has been a similar theme in my work to restore my health by gaining weight and gaining freedom from my control and restriction of food. I will be honest, this has been much harder, than I predicted. I think this has been due to the fact, that I have learned more about myself and have been more truthful with myself about the reasons why I have struggled to gain my health through gaining weight in the past. I will begin by telling you, that my dietitian does not weigh me in our meetings. I thought this strange at first, but when we talked about it, she told me she wants me to EAT and not be obsessed with the number on the scale going up or down. I agree with her in this decision, because I had always thought I was a goal person and needed to see this to make progress. I have realized though, that I also want control in this area of my life and the number on the scale is something I cannot and should not try to control. My progress is based, at this point, by eating foods, I had previously deemed, “unhealthy,” if there is such a thing. I also am working to eat much more in the quantity of food than I have in the past, instead of restricting what I eat. Controlling and restricting, both the type of food I eat and the amount of food I eat, has become second nature to me, and I do it without thinking about it. This is the key, I have to think about ordering the salmon from my favorite restaurant, not just with a salad, but with rice or potatoes. I have to think about eating, because I am hungry, even if it is not my typical mealtime or snack time. Why has this become such a struggle for me? I believe, I have made this a habit in my life, and like all habits, it is hard to break.

Throughout this journey I have been on this past month, I have also become so aware of the, “diet culture,” we live in today. I have had to unfollow some people on Instagram or stop reading certain blogs, because they were filling my mind with thoughts which are not beneficial for me. Rather, I have tried to listen to podcasts, look at Instagram or Facebook feeds, and read blogs that encourage me in my pursuit to gain health by gaining weight. In honesty, listening to and reading these resources is what has made me realize I cannot do this on my own, and that this area of my life is something I am mentally struggling to overcome. As I hear others stories of growth and recovery, I have seen, although health is defined in our culture by size and weight, this simply is not a way to live life. Fitting into this mold, becomes the definition of who you are and sucks the life out of you. What is still so difficult, is, although I can be mindful of what I see and read, I cannot escape this culture in my daily life. EVERYONE talks about weight loss, diets, and body image. I was at lunch with a couple of people a few weeks ago, and every single person there was on a diet and talking about their diets for a portion of our meal. They said they could only order certain foods, because their trainer would see what they eat. Without even realizing it, I began to think about what I ordered in this same light, but I do not believe this was their fault. I am just sharing where my mind quickly goes. I do know this can be an aspect of some gyms and could be helpful for some people. However, for my situation, I am glad, that where I choose to give movement to my body, does not carry this mindset or these practices. I do have friends and family who model for me and encourage me to live healthfully rather than constrictively, but even they are human and sometimes fall in the same arena in topics of discussion and lifestyle practices. It does seem, everywhere you turn,, there are people who are trying to loose weight and change their bodies, and this quickly becomes the topic of conversation. In these moments, I have to speak truth to myself and remember who I am. That I am faithfully loved and fully accepted, and I am created for a far reaching purpose in this life, which is beyond myself.

I thank you for reading this post, friends, and I hope it is a wonderful week! I will check in soon with more thoughts and updates.

Much love!

Thoughts on the Docs

Hi There!

I have not posted much this week, because first, my time has seemed to run short each day. Also, there has not been much update from last week! However, I am waiting to have my oil changed and just saw my OBGYN, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Let me dive in, first, to some of the thoughts I have been having on the work I have implemented from my last dietitian visit. Overall, it has gone really well. She did a great job helping me implement a plan that fits my lifestyle and preferences in food. I have, though, had several “a-ha” moments, since my visit with her last week. I had dinner with a sweet friend earlier this week, who is also a dietitian, and we talked extensively about what the dietitian had recommended for me. We also talked about some of the mental labeling and rigidity I can tend to carry with my lifestyle, particularly in food. In saying this, I completely agree with my dietitian, that at this point in my journey, I need to have a “plan” which I am following. Otherwise, I will fall right back into my old habits and fail to make any progress. On the other hand, I want to practice giving myself the freedom, mentally, to eat as much food as my body needs to gain weight while also giving myself freedom to eat whatever my body desires, even if it deviates from our “plan” which can cause me some anxiety.

Another aspect of our work, I want to discuss with my dietitian is the use of an online food journal. Once again, due to my tendency to become OCD about tasks and following instructions, I get very uncomfortable when I don’t hit the required calorie mark or if I go above my calorie goal for the day. At this point in my work, I almost feel like e-mailing her, each day, with the foods I have eaten, might be best. This way, I am accountable, but I am not becoming obsessive about logging food. As I mentioned, I need a plan right now, because my major need is to gain weight. In the past, when I did not have a plan and accountability, I fell extremely off track. However, I also think it is important to train myself to eat more intuitively, rather than restrictively.  I really want to be intentional about choosing foods which are healthy, fuel my body, but challenge my current food rotations.

If you have made it this far in reading this post, you are a champ! For my final update, I did go to my OBGYN today. He is very caring, listens intently to me, and is intentional about our time. I will not go into too many details, because this is a public post.:) I will say, though, I left feeling great comfort. I was not able to do any blood work today, but my husband and I are making plans to do this near the end of my summer break. Although, it will not be an easy road without complications and challenges, my doctor assured me, that he will be able to work with me to get my body where it needs to be, to one day, bear a child. I am going to continue to seek out further information, on my own, regarding this aspect of my health, but I am also going to trust him. In the future, if I am not confident in the medical advice I am given, I will need to, wisely, seek out further medical advice. At this point, I am doing what I need to do to gain my health and will work from that place.

Thanks so much for reading! I hope this offers, at least one reader, less of a feeling of being alone in a life event similar to my own. Remember, gain what you might have lost, by giving yourself the gift of the freedom to do this! I will be back soon with updates from my dietitian appointment tomorrow.

Much love!