Thursday, June 3, 2010

Vacation Mania!

First, let me take a minute to thank KT for leading group on Tuesday.  I've heard nothing but praises from group members about KT's ability as a facilitator and it just continues to prove my point. . .you ARE the smartest people I know!!  Thank you KT for pinch hitting while I enjoyed Memorial Day with my family in Virginia, and thank you group for doing what you do best!  Also, this Tuesday will be the first day for the new therapist named Amy Barrett.  Please come and let her also see what you do best, which is connecting with yourself and sharing your own story!

Vacations can be one of the most challenging times for me on this journey of lifestyle change!  It seems that every time I cross the Mecklenburg County line, something happens to me internally.  What is that?? What is it that really happens inside that makes me feel like I have a license to eat whatever I want and however much of it I can pack in?!  I have spent more time than I want to admit pondering this phenomenon.  The one thing I know to be true, is that I am not alone in this.  Here are the questions I have pondered in great depth, and I would like to ask if you would be willing to chew on this with me by answering the following questions. (Pardoning the pun!)

         *Is it a barrier to lifestyle change or is it a reprieve from lifestyle change?

          *Why do I feel this way so strongly?

          *Could it possibly be coming from a healthy place or is that wishful thinking?

          *Can I eat whatever I like while on vacation and still maintain my journey of lifestyle change?

With summer upon us, it is time for some honest reflection.  Have a great weekend!


kindra said...

I, too have this struggle (of course). I was out of town last week and gave in to quite a bit of unhealthy eating choices. What I now realize is that I was saying to myself I deserved it. I was on the road and everyone else was eating chips/queso/tacos/hamburger and fries. So I appreciate the questions because it has revealed to me my faulty thinking/deception/lies: Why do I think I am TREATING myself when I choose to eat unhealthy?? The danger is that when I return home I have a harder time FEELING like eating healthy again. So I fall into the all or nothing: I've already blown it so why exercise, I've probably gained anyway, I am a bad person. What this has revealed for me are two things: 1. It is a lie that I am treating myself by eating junk and that I deserve it as if eating healthy is a jail sentence or punishment 2. So I make the choice to eat some things not quite as unhealthy: That doesn't make me unhealthy. I can still make good choices from there because I deserve to take care of me. Eating healthy is actually the treat! Not the junk food! Eat it and move on. You chose to eat it, so what? You can still get back to healthy choices. It doesn't mean I'm a failure and I deserve to be condemned for what kind of food I choose to eat. I'm human. I ate whatever I wanted--even if it was out of emotion, but don't eat unhealthy because that means I'm being good to myself. I eating unhealthy because I chose to at the time--big deal--move on and get back on the right road-don't detour for months because I got off the path for a minute. I choose to take care of me because it is good for me and I deserve to take care of me! Keep moving forward to get back on the journey of healthy lifestyle and head in that direction. If I pull over or take a minor detour--get back on track and head forward. Thanks!

Antoinette said...

Self-discipline and self-control equates to deprivation in my psyche. Hmmm, don't think I've ever admitted that to myself before. Anyway, I think that vacation away from my normal home to work to church routine is a welcome RELIEF so I don't have to be so strict with myself. It seems that splurging is some kind of reward or bonus for being "good" all these months even though I know it's lifestyle change, not a diet. If I'm really honest with myself, vacation is really just an excuse to do what I've been secretly desiring to do all along anyway: whatever I want, whenever I want.

I embarked on this journey for the right reasons after doing my soul searching and research about the long-term health benefits. Seems like NOT being sick after suffering for years ought to be reward enough within itself, but for some reason it isn't. I'm not certain why. The reality hits home AFTER I've eaten whatever I please and my body responds so emphatically. My TREAT was really MIS-treatment (abuse/an assault) against my body it didn't ask for nor deserve.

At least for me, I think the hardest part of the journey is ACCEPTANCE that this really is how it's gotta be for the rest of my life, and the struggle not to feel TRAPPED by my own good decision when food lust, habit or desire to fit in (be normal) overwhelms me. I see the need within myself, at least, to stop expecting this journey to be a breeze at some point. Somehow this underlying attitude is tripping me up, bringing discouragement when it's not easy (most of the time).

Somewhere within me, there is still that defiant 3 y.o. little girl with her arms crossed, stamping her foot, screaming loudly "you're not the boss of meeeeeeeee!!!" Who is she yelling at anyway? Me? My parents? Doctors? Society? God? That rebelliousness derails my best efforts on a whole different level in that I expect my body to fully recover and then return to what I was doing before. What I was doing is the same thing that spawned the health crisis in the first place.

Julie, you were the one who helped me realize that I was the one who did this to my own body through years of abuse; not that it let me down. Yet, these vacation splurges only give me opportunity to return to the abuse temporarily. Is inflicting abuse on my body really a vacation?

Perhaps I made an error thinking my initial acceptance would be enough. I guess continuing acceptance is just part of the ongoing journey just like thankfulness and forgiveness.

Over and over again, I have to find that place within myself where I'm okay with my choices; then self-respect and wisdom will over-ride the cravings, peer pressure or sense of deprivation. At least I sure hope so.

God help us!