1) Okay, did you see the stories on how diet soda can seriously mess you up? I am bereft. I'd heard rumors about this for a few years, but mostly on blogs, not on the news, and as close as the two are getting to each other (God bless Junkfood Science), these were not the kind of blogs that act like news organizations, they were the kind of OMG THE WORLD IS GOING TO BLOW UP blogs that do not inspire confidence. So... this was more of a "oh, hell, they were right" kind of thing.
I've been trying to go off diet soda for a while now. Mostly because of the caffeine, which I try to avoid because I seriously have enough problems even without it. And because my boss's dentist told him that his one-per-day diet cola habit was dissolving his teeth, which wigged me out, but that is neither here nor there. Thing is, that logic led me to have decaf versions instead, and now I am hearing bad things about them. Well, PHOOEY. I suppose I'm going to have to just go ahead and stick to un-soda drinks from now on-- mainly water with lemon, as is our wont, because we are so damn cheap-- and have full-on sweet-ass soda once in a blue moon if I really want it. What the hell, it'll save me money, I guess.
2) I'm re-reading Intuitive Eating, inspired by Mae over at The Pretty Face, who is going deeply into it with her therapist and is awesome enough to post about her progress-- which I applaud and consider a damn brave thing to do, considering that it's a difficult thing to articulate and that it lacks any tangible number-based goals and markers the way that scale-based progress does. This time, I think, I'm going to do actual work with it, try to incorporate it into my life instead of sort of padding around the edges. I suppose the past several months count sort of as the first phase, in which I got used to the idea that I am never ever going to diet again, and read a lot of books about the damage dieting can do, am doing pretty well with honoring my hunger, and kiiiind of started making peace with food. It comes and it goes, and I'm glad for every time I have a good moment that I can remember later and remind myself that it's possible to be comfortable with food.
I have some amazing moments that make me go !!! in retrospect. My husband ordered pizza on Friday, and I got myself three pieces. Put 'em on the plate, and as I was carrying it out of the kitchen I clearly remember hefting the plate, looking down at it in amazement, and thinking, Good Christ, that's heavy. That's a lot of food. It kind of caught me in the middle of the whole thing, so when I ate them ('cause of course I ate them! they were yummy!) I made an effort to take my time and "be present" for the eating process, so my mind would recognize that I had eaten, y'know? And then I thought about more, and contemplated my tummy, and decided, No, that will do. That may in fact have been too much. Five minutes later, my stomach was informing me Oy, that was totally too much, what were you thinking? So, small victory: I recognized the size of what I was eating, I ate it mindfully, and I have a clear mental image of the aftermath to remember next time, so hopefully next time I'll pause between the second and third slices. And, hey, I was full. It is not unknown for me to try to eat the whole damn pizza, yea, even in these enlightened days.
I had another one of those moments when it occurred to me that we have had tortilla chips-- flavored ones, even-- on top of our refrigerator since Saturday. I ate some of them Saturday, got bored with them fairly quickly, and haven't been back since. This is huge news because tortilla chips in general (Doritos in particular, but any kind with flavored dust on it) are a long-standing weakness of mine, going back to the days when the people I baby-sat for every evening after school regularly stocked Doritos of one kind or another, which I was welcome to, and which my parents never had around-- and taking on special significance during college when I had a long-standing joke about choosing my vending machine "meal" items based on color (Coke: red can, Doritos: red bag) and also did my first full-on binging with a bag of Doritos and a pint of ice cream (that, a 2-liter of soda, and two or three one-dollar/one-night movie rentals, and you've got my idea of an enjoyable Friday night; granted, sometimes pizza would replace the Doritos). Ah, chips.
My point being that it's typically impossible for me to get chips and not eat them immediately, as in eat damn near all of them immediately. And we've had these since Saturday. And I've been hormonal. I'm kind of amazed at this. I consider eating them every night, but the thing is that I'm never in the mood for them, or not hungry, and I never end up eating them. It's the damnedest thing.
Here's another one: I was reading Intuitive Eating this morning, and I considered getting a bag of chocolate to keep in my desk, the better to convince myself that I could have chocolate any time if I wanted it, and so forth. Considering is as far as I went, though, because, I swear to God, a weary little voice piped up in the back of my head saying Oh, God, do we have to? I really don't want any chocolate.
The most astonishing thing was that when I consulted my stomach, it turned out to be true: I wasn't hungry, and the thought of chocolate gave me a sort of weird "bleah, ick" feeling. I changed my thought process, wondering if maybe I should still buy it in case I wanted it later, and the little voice piped up again: If we do, we'll just buy a damn candy bar, or pick up one of those little pieces from the free bowl in the mailroom. Now shut up about chocolate because I'm seriously tired of talking about it.
And you know what? That's exactly what happened. I kind of wanted something sweet right after lunch, as I tend to do, so I snagged a piece of chocolate from the free candy bowl, and relished the hell out of it, and moved on. It sounds like such a small thing, having a day when I treated chocolate like a tiny part of my life instead of something huge and important, but it felt big.
3) It has occurred to me that I'm learning from meditation in wacky ways. I've mentioned before about how I'm learning to treat moments when my brain wanders off following one thought or another, the gentle "hey, when you drift away from concentrating on your breathing, no big; when you recognize that's what you've done, don't judge yourself on it, just let go and go back to the breath" attitude. What I realized today is that that's concentration, at least what passes for it with me. Not only that, it's having an effect on my work performance; while I'm still just as distractable, I notice the distraction earlier and go back to what I was doing without kicking myself or, for that matter, fighting myself on it. It seems that when I'm not punishing myself for being distractable, my rebellious half isn't so keen on running off away from the task at hand.
Still working on the thing where I avoid certain jobs at work. Some things I've got a handle on-- my customer service and e-mail/voice-mail response time is up a billion percent in the past few months-- and some things I'm trying to figure out. Part of it are the things I don't think I should have to do; because I'm actively denying the fact that I do in fact have to do these jobs, I'm neither doing something constructive in a) doing the job or b) putting together a game plan for having someone else do the job. Which means that it gets put off until the end of time.
Part of it, I've noticed, is where I hit things I don't know (or things that I'm uncertain on, or things that I know part of but I feel unsure of a particular detail or even if a detail exists). I get antsy about things I don't know, and avoid them, put them off, pretend they don't exist. Which is a problem at the moment because one of my big projects for the year hit a snag regarding things I don't know, and I got stuck. The clear answer is to ask someone else, which I still haven't done. If I want to get the damn thing done, though, it would probably be a good idea to ask someone and get moving again. Breathe in, breathe out, make the call.
So... progress, I think. And now, yoga time.