Saturday, June 16, 2018

Day 1: A Fresh Start

It has been over a month since I vowed to get "back in the saddle" with intuitive eating.  It turns out my health concerns weren't yet resolved. But finally, finally, FINALLY I'm starting to feel almost normal again.  Someday, I will share experiences from the past 7 weeks or so as part of a bigger project I'd like to someday pursue.  But for now, it's time to resume progress on an earlier goal: to eat intuitively.

I've fallen back in the trap of eating food because it tastes good and not because I'm particularly hungry for it; in fact, I often consciously make the choice to eat simply because the food I like is available, even though I'm full.  I leave for choir tour on Monday morning. It is exceedingly tempting to wait until after tour is over in 16 days to begin again.  But rumor has it the food will be awesome. Overeating is one of the hazards of vacation.  Rather than digging a bigger hole to climb out of, I'd like to start today. And I must remind myself that eating intuitively is not restricting any one kind of food.  Instead, it's eating just the right amounts of each thing until satisfaction is reached.  Once that is attained, enjoyment often goes way down.  I will not resume tracking food until after tour, but my goal for the next 2+ weeks is to resume awareness of my body cues.  Try anything gluten free that looks enticing, but stop eating when my hunger stops. 

I realized today after consuming helping after helping of sugar that I'm really getting sick of it.  It's definitely too much of a good thing and I'm eager to get back the wonderful feeling I had at the beginning of the year when I was eating to live and not living to eat.  I've put weight back on the past several weeks, which has added discouragement in to the mix. I'm anxious to turn things around!

Friday, June 15, 2018

What's all this talk about love?

Tonight, my roommate and I pulled out the 90's classic Runaway Bride starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.  I know that soundtrack backwards and forwards and it takes me directly back to age 15 every time I hear one of the songs.

For those less familiar with the storyline, Julia Roberts' character, Maggie, puts aside her own tastes and interests for people she dates.  She gets engaged and makes it all the way to the wedding day before deciding she can't lead a false existence.  She runs away because no one truly knows who she is, including herself.  After a fourth failed attempt down the aisle, she decides to learn what her own interests and passions truly are.  After a time of self-discovery, she realizes she doesn't want a big wedding. She likes eggs benedict.  She spends time developing her passion for industrial design.  She ultimately offers all that she is to someone, without apology, and that's the man she finally marries. 

I once loved a man who didn't yet know who he was.  He was unintentionally playing a part, trying to be everything he assumed was expected of him. Inevitably, the relationship ended because the person I loved didn't actually exist.  It hurt, but I was grateful it ended. It taught me the importance of taking the time to truly get to know someone- the good, the bad, and the ugly.  It also revealed my own insecurities and difficulty communicating.  I was just as much to blame for seeing only what I wanted to see and not encouraging him to be authentic.  I was also guilty of not being upfront with him about my feelings, either, even though I had doubts and fears.

Runaway Bride is relatable.  It's easy to morph into what someone else needs, regardless of what we want.  There's an inherent part of us that wants to make people happy.  It's tricky, because helping others is a central part of building good character.  It can't be, however, at the expense of us becoming the people we were born to be and reaching our divine potential.  And sometimes, we allow people to put aside their own interests in order to better serve us.  Both things are problematic in a relationship. 

Asking someone to love us as we are is a terrifying concept.  After she takes time to become comfortable with who she is without anyone else influencing her, Maggie kneels before Ike and asks him to marry her.  In this question, she is asking him to accept her true self.  There is a moment of silence in which he considers his answer.  The pause induces stress as I contemplate what it would be like to offer my whole, authentic self to someone in hopes they would accept.

I am in a position now to discover who I am without too much distraction. But my responsibility doesn't end there. I must love who I am and be brave enough to offer myself without apology to someone else. And I have to accept the outcome, whether it's yes or no.  Can I be that authentic with someone? I can certainly try.  And can I accept the authentic version of myself? I'm working on it every day.

So this is to you, whoever "you" are.

My name is Katie, short for Kathryn. But I'm not a Kathryn- I'm most definitely a Katie.  I am a homebody. My favorite day of relaxation is reading a book in bed, watching a made-for-tv romance, eating something delicious, making homemade cards, and working on a puzzle.  Though I love to be at home, I also love to go for long walks and bike rides. I love the water. I love to swim.  Being in a boat on the lake tubing or wakeboarding is a perfect summer day.  I am very close with my family.  I never make my bed, unless I'm going out of town.  I fall asleep in an instant. I love surprising people. I'm completely non-athletic.  I sing and play the piano and I adore writing poetry.  I talk in paragraphs and my thoughts jump around.  I love getting to know peoples' stories. I am a great conversationalist, but I struggle sometimes to talk about hard things. I would rather host a party than be invited to one.  I'm not an intuitive cook and I'm horrible with directions. I love to teach, and I'm good at helping students discover their talents.  I am deeply insecure.  Writing is one of my greatest passions, and it's how I show my love and appreciation for people. I like making silly music videos and slideshows. I'm extremely anxious.  I am scared of dogs and I don't like seafood. I have a sweet tooth and I also love movie popcorn.  I love God and prioritize my faith above all else. I can't eat wheat. I sometimes purposely ignore that fact. I'm a little klutzy and I often say things that I have no idea are inappropriate.  I am sentimental.  I'm forgetful.  I have the best friends in the world.

And I like 3 minute eggs smashed with butter and salt on toast.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Day 118: Back in the Saddle

I realize 10 days have elapsed since my last entry! So I’m going to extend my personal challenge farther into January. It turns out being sick requires a lot more physical and emotional energy than I realized. I’ve had to focus on feeling better for the past week and a half. But the good news is...I’m feeling better! The bad news is...I haven’t been as intuitive in my eating choices as I’d like. I feel myself creeping back into bad habits. But I am all about fresh starts now. So let’s do this.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Day 116 & 117: Be Still, My Heart!

I had a poignant experience yesterday, one I don’t think I’ll soon forget. It was terrifying. It taught me a lot. In the scheme of things, it was a very small inconvenience and not of great significance in terms of the time it occupied. But to me, it was life changing. I faced some things I never had before and learned what my response was in those unique situations.

I woke up feeling fine and went to choir Sunday morning. I got to my seat and realized I left my necklace in the wardrobe room. I had to go all he way back down, which is a couple flights of stairs when added up. I hurried down, hurried back up, and took my place just as warmups began. But I couldn’t get cool. I kept fanning myself. When I stood, my body felt heavy and my vision seemed to dim. I kept having to sit down.  I turned to my friend Brett and told her I didn’t feel well and something was wrong. My heart started racing. My other friend, Sonja, asked if I needed some food and grabbed me a granola bar. I put it to my lips and let it drop- I was too weak to eat it and knew something was really wrong. Sonja hurried for the choir doctor, Dr. Palmer. He is an ENT and is present at all rehearsals and performances in case of emergencies. With 400+ people in a physically and vocally demanding performance setting, it’s so smart to have him there. He escorted me to a chair outside of the choir loft and took my pulse, which was very speedy. My hands also started tingling. Sonja stayed with me. He escorted me down to the horseshoe, a place where we sometimes rehearse under the Tabernacle. Sonja stayed with me again while he went to find Dr. Anderson, a cardiologist who happens to play in the orchestra on temple square. I laid on the ground. I had Sonja call my parents because they were still in Provo and hadn’t gone back to California yet. It was decided after Dr. Anderson took my pulse that I would ride with Dr. Palmer to the emergency room. Dr. Anderson gave me his card and told me to call if needed anything. He also gave the emergency room a call to give them a heads up that I was on my way. Before I left, Dr. Palmer and one of the stage crew members gave me a blessing.  He saved me a lot of money by not calling an ambulance! Sonja collected my clothes and they took me in a wheelchair to the parking garage and Dr. Palmer and I went to the emergency room at the hospital where I was born.

Upon arrival at the hospital, a nurse helped me undress and they put a bunch of stickers on my chest to hook me up to a machine. They drew a bunch of blood, gave me an IV of fluids, and took an X-ray of my lungs. Over the course of the next hour, I had a brief period of nausea followed by cold and shaking, followed by sudden heat, followed by shaking again. I needed an extra blanket, then needed it removed, then needed it back on again. My legs were shaking uncontrollably. My parents arrived and Dr. Palmer left. We waited for the results of the tests. Slowly but surely, I could talk with more ease and my body calmed down. They came in and delivered the news that met my deductible and I owed $1050 between the deductible and the co-pay. When the doctor came in, he said the results of the tests they took were all normal (thyroid, heart, lungs, etc.). My mom informed him that she and her mother both were diagnosed with heart arrhythmia. He recommended I follow up with a cardiologist this week.

My parents drove to the conference center, picked up my car, and I went upstairs to get changed. I was going with my parents to Provo to take it easy. I was feeling great- almost as though nothing happened. My roommate Hailey totally surprised me by cleaning my room (which was a complete disaster!). When I got back to the condo, I went to lie down. I responded to some texts and started to read a book before realizing I wanted to sleep. As I started replaying what happened in my mind, the feeling of heaviness and faintness came over me again. I went in to my parents’ room and laid down and my parents started talking me through it. I started shaking again, this time worse than before. Not only were my legs shaking, but my teeth were chattering. As my mom coached me through deep breathing, my body calmed down. My mom explained it was most likely the adrenaline in my body still coursing through- basically a panic attack in the aftermath of my body going in to fight or flight mode when I got sick earlier in the morning. My mom and I are both worriers, so I was shocked at how calm she remained through the whole morning. She said she felt a strong impression earlier that morning everything would be okay. She also very recently had a similar episode of  heart arrhythmia and it was brought to her memory as I was going through my own experience. She felt strongly that it wasn’t going to be life threatening. For the rest of the evening, I felt okay on and off. I decided to take work off the next day, which ended up being a good choice, as I felt like I got hit by a truck the next morning. By midday, I was basically back to 100%.

Things I learned about myself:

1) I was determined not to lose consciousness, because I was afraid of what would happen if I did. I was holding on to lucidity as tightly as I could. I was so scared, and even afraid I was dying. It sounds dramatic now, but when I started losing control of my body, it felt like anything could happen.  I knew I didn’t want to die. It was frightening to feel like I was facing that possibility.

2) It was hard for me to understand why everyone seemed so calm and normal around me when I felt like my whole world was changing. People were talking to me conversationally and I was having a difficult time responding because my body was so weak. It felt so strange to feel so abnormal and to see such normalcy around me. I know now it was a combination of them trying to keep me calm and also them having a greater understanding of what was happening than I did- they were as concerned as the situation merited.

3) I yearned for physical contact when I was so scared. I remember lying on the floor with Dr. Anderson sitting above me. I reached over and touched his shoe with my hand and told him I was scared. I told people I was scared over and over again. When my parents arrived at the emergency room, I wanted my mom to touch my face.

4) I felt stupid. Of course I didn’t want anything to be wrong with me, but I also did not want people to to think I made it up.. This really upset me. As I reflect back, I know it wasn’t anything I could help. It came on so suddenly and the symptoms I felt were very real. My heart was racing enough (130 or 140 at resting) that two doctors determined it was safer to get it checked out. So rationally, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. But the idea of being a girl who “cried wolf” was extremely upsetting to me.

5) Having people close by meant everything to me. I realized now why people say they don’t want to die alone. I wasn’t going to die, but i didn’t know what was happening. I didn’t want to be left by myself with the fear for even a second. I was so grateful to Sonja, to Dr. Palmer, and to my parents for making sure I wasn’t alone throughout the whole ordeal.

6) I was grateful for savings. A year ago at this time, I had very little savings after buying my house a year before and paying mortgage alone. One of the best things I ever did for myself emotionally and financially was get a roommate to help shoulder the cost and to be a shoulder to lean on when times
are hard. My dad recommended a get a roommate, but I thought I wanted to be a “grown-up” and do it alone. But I’ve learned doing everything by myself doesn’t define adulthood.  It’s making decisions that will help me be the best person I can be. Though I did not like shelling out over $1000, I was grateful I had savings to draw from.

7) Only the week before, I was telling a friend how healthy I am and how sometimes I wished I got sick so it would force me to stop the busy pace of my life. I regret saying that. I need to always be grateful for what I have and instead figure out how to slow down and do less WITHOUT wishing to be forced to do it.

Grateful for what life teaches me and I hope I can use it to become a more useful human in the future!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Day 114 & 115: Lit

It’s so easy to sit and snack mindlessly without much thought for hunger or satisfaction. I made popcorn and flourless chocolate cookies tonight to accompany a movie with some choir friends. I had to fight the temptation to eat well beyond capacity because it was sitting there throughout the whole movie and it was food I like. I did eat beyond my comfort level, but I tried to be more prudent than in the past. That’s the goal- to adapt my lifestyle a little bit at a time and develop new habits. I hope I can make this a permanent change.

I got lights for my yard! We are all ready for Hailey’s birthday party next week. That is, if you don’t count the 3,000 weeds that need to be extricated in the next 7 days. Let’s see if that actually happens. But at least we’ve got lights. Maybe I can keep everyone inside until it gets dark so they can enjoy the lights but miss the weeds 😂. #goalz

Friday, April 27, 2018

Days 112 &113: Choices

Wednesday, I made a conscious choice not to eat intuitively. I had a busy day and a concert in the evening. I just didn’t want to tune in to my body cues. So I didn’t. I enjoyed my eating experiences that day much less than I normally would have because I was eating beyond what I was hungry for.

Today I made a conscious choice to stop eating when I was full. As a result, I decided not to have the bowl of fruity pebble and marshmallow cereal that sounded SO delicious as “dessert” because I was satisfied after eating dinner.

The second choice made me feel better. It’s wonderful to do things because they have good results and not because you feel like you have to do them.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Day 111: Unforced Productivity

This continues somewhat from yesterday. After evaluating the "what if's" of not using my time wisely, I decided to let go of the guilt. I was going to allow myself to just lay in bed and read and not dictate every minute of my afternoon after I got home and not care about whether or not it was the right thing to do or if it was fair to other people who don't get to do things like that. I was just going to do what I wanted. This sounds selfish, but the psychology of it had an incredible effect. After getting home from gettin my oil changed and making dinner, I went to my room, read a People magazine, and took a nap. By 6:30 pm, I was awake and had a strong desire to work out for the first time in months. I went for a 3 mile walk while listening to a fascinating podcast called Invisibilia. This episode was about how future behavior can't really be predicted by a mathematical formula.  After that, I got so many things done! I deposited checks, did laundry, and got some things ready for a couple upcoming par-tays.  I didn't do everything I wanted to- I will need to finish some things tomorrow. But I did a lot and it was not under extreme duress or pressure.  I thrived when I allowed myself to govern my own choices, instead of allowing anxiety to dictate my schedule.  The anxiety paralyzed me. I couldn't act. That was part of the reason for my exercise slump.  But I'm feeling more free again.