“I Couldn’t help it”

Have you ever said this to yourself, after maybe eating too much, picking at your skin, biting your nails, sleeping with your ex, sleeping in, compulsively waking up at 5am again to jump on your bike (I know this isn’t just me), drinking that extra glass of wine, smoking that doobie?

Maybe it’s not your fault. Maybe it’s not my fucking fault.

I think that through running away and distracting our(my)selves, we lose our connection with our own needs.  We run around, work late, “forget to eat”, get neck spasms from being glued to the screen.  We lose ourselves.

Then, when our body comes back to yell at us, we’re fucking famished, we’re thawing from numbness and itchy.  Itchy and unconscious.

Itchy and unconscious.

Itchy and unconscious. I’ll say it again.  When we feel depleted, unknowing as to why or what we need, we cope.  We need to fill again that void, a seemingly sourceless void that is hungry.  Hungry for nourishment.

  • Love
  • Connection
  • Some mother fucking nutrients
  • Support
  • Creative expression
  • Outlet for release
  • TO FEEL

(Wo)man, doesn’t it feel somewhat comforting and safe to be numb?

Parts of me feel like it’s a warm blanket.
♬ I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety ’til I sank it ♬

Hey Amelia Boone if you ever read this #jahbless firstly, secondly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUgwM1Ky228

These lyrics are so damn good and bang:

We go to the doctor, we go to the mountains
We look to the children, we drink from the fountain
Yeah, we go to the Bible, we go through the work out
We read up on revival, we stand up for the lookout
There’s more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
And the less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine

So, back to when it hits us, the body no longer will be silenced.  So, we eat too much, we cope with whatever drug we choose: a cig, a J, a beer or 5, a run or 5, etcetcetc.  And for me, when I get to this state, the yuck scary space of overwhelm with feelings, they rush in unsilenceable, like when you cut yourself shaving and the bleeding just doesn’t stop.  Fuck, you are on a ride of pain and it doesn’t end till it does.  You gotta ride it out, one giant wave of overwhelm.

The jump from numb to being overflowing is huge, and it’s terrifying.

This is when the excess asks for dissipation through whatever accessible means we can grab.  ANYTHING.

Ok, so now what?  Left bloated, drunk, high, bloody, now what?

Enter guilt and shame.  The worst.  These two are also scary emotions.  So, the innate thing to do for us to feel safe again is to disconnect further, to numb because these are scary and unpleasant feels.

I don’t know about you, but when I skin pick, or eat brussels sprouts (and aioli) till I’m 16 weeks preggers, I am definitely not interested to sit with myself, gently, compassionately.  Ho wanna run, (wo)man!

img_8244And this has been my cycle for a hell of a long time.  And it’s exhausting.  And the thing is, behind the pain and noise, is my soul’s voice, quietly and ever-presently there telling me to come back to myself.

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The cycle breaks eventually.
That’s it that’s all.
“To sit with the shit”, as say the yogis and #Bae Pema Chodron, that’s eventually what we learn, when numbing no longer works.  When our bodies say “No”.

And, sweetheart, also: it’s not your fault.

Namaste.

The Body on Stress

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I truly believe that the person eating a Big Mac is better off than the one stressing over whether their dinner is made with “free-range-organic-non-GMO” meat.

Stress is the response in the body when our resources are strained from an event that requires adaptation to our current state.

I’ve been addicted to a certain level of stress brought on by the hormone cortisol.  I think that our society in the Western world is addicted to a high level of cortisol.  It my belief that is is why we crave more and more sensation, more and more distraction, more and more numbing. We find these outlets through both addiction to highly engaging substances, or ones that cause us to dissociate:

  • drugs
  • coffee
  • alcohol
  • food (sugar)
  • exercise
  • endorphin rush from stunts
  • self-harm (general term)
  • the third arm: the phone

I’m bringing awareness to my addiction to cortisol, and I’m using mindfulness-based techniques to tune back to my inner nature, one of peace, calm, ease.  

So much of my days have fallen pattern in the go-go-go lifestyle, with the supposed belief that in order to deserve, I must have endured.  That the level of stress is a badge of honour.  This is a false belief that my subconscious has taken to believe as truth.  This is a false badge of our society.

This is why concepts like Blue Mind and Shinrin Yoku which are predicated on the foundation that nature is a healer.  Shinrin Yoku, or roughly translated, “forest bathing”, is actually a treatment prescribed by doctors as a means to lower stress and anxiety.  The invisible illness of mental unrest is of integral vitality to these cultures, whereas in our society it is often swept under the rug to make way for illnesses that are recognized and can be visibly seen.

After all, the people who I admire the most are the calm ones who in spite of struggle, are able to be peace.  

I don’t think I’ll ever forget one spin session in uni when I was an avid member of the Triathlon Team, when my beautiful pro triathlete friend Angela Quick (yes that’s her real last name, and it rings true to her ferocity as an athlete) had a big brick workout this particular training day.  We were together as a group doing a 2-3hr ride, and a run.  I had a 2 hour ride, 30 min run.  She had something like a 3 hour ride, 1-hour run (prepping for some longassrace).  I had been really anal about getting enough sleep and rarely had fun in the final year of uni.  This chick, who comes out first among the top athletes in the whole world at national events, hopped on her bike at the start of the ride expressing quickly, “I am so tired and hungover from dancing all night at Cowboys yesterday.”

I was like:

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She proceeded to engage in #beastmode and finish the workout so strong.

Ange continues to be the support I call on when I’m whining about my anxious mind when I am sick/injured and can’t train.  This is where my mind is craving that set-point of habitual stress I have come to be addicted to.  I’m weaning off it.

Angela honours her needs:

If she is sick, she rests.
Injured? Rest.
Pool closed? You guessed it: rest. (not like I was in uni, instead, finishing a ride, whereas she went back to bed — swim is at darkoclock in the AM).

She’s an inspiration.

So stress:

Are you addicted?

Do you find yourself busying yourself, rushing so fast when you have nowhere to go, no plans.  And even if you have plans, WHAT is so important, that even 5-10 mins late is worth the cortisol in your body?

I truly believe that the person eating a Big Mac is better off than the one stressing over whether their dinner is made with “free-range-organic-non-GMO” meat.

Let’s bring awareness to the stress level at which we function most often.  Let’s look at that dial, and dial it down a bit.

What if life were easy?

#riddlemethat

How to sit with a Binge

(starting this post with shameless self-promotion for my emotional eating workshop where Deanne and I will be sharing our insights and human honesty with our binge and emotional eating journeys)

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Was that a binge?

I’m letting myself eat.  I’m listening to my needs.  I’m realizing that even when there’s some kind of feeling telling me to nourish, even when I’m not in a state of being famished, I follow it.

Ever have what my friend once explained as “itchy teeth”?  She called it the feeling where you feel like munching on something but aren’t necessarily hungry.

It’s times like these where I have to tune into my gut, ask myself what I need.

What am I hungry for?

  • Connection?
  • Love?
  • Self-care?
  • Rest?
  • Creative expression?
  • Meaningful work?

Today, I finished lunch very aware of my craving for connection.

BUT: there are times, especially during this re-feeding, where I am actually physically needing nourishment, and in spite of my mind saying “You’ve had enough!”, body’s actually asking for nourishment.

My dear friend expressed herself after feeling like she’d overeaten, I asked her what part of her felt full, or like she’d binged.  She said her tummy wasn’t bloated, it felt comfortable and sated.  Her mind, on the other hand, didn’t want to believe that her body required that much food.

That’s the shit though, eh?  I’m hearing both voices, the mind and the soul when I eat.  I often feel like I can have an extra spoonful of peanut baetter, hummus, extra handful of nuts.  

And then, I’m full.

It’s a new feeling.

Sometimes I’m in shock at how much I am eating, and it fucking terrifies me.

My mind wants to flee, to distract, to numb.  I want to busy myself and get back to that feeling of being “in control” of how much I’ve eaten, or of how much I’ve decided my body needs.

How silly is that though!?  As IF my mind has enough say over how much nourishment my wise-ass body needs.

And so, fuck man, if I overdo it a bit, or if I’ve err’d on the side of a little too much, so what?  I’m not perfect!

The fear is in old ways of void-filling with overeating; bingeing and purging.  But my soul has found its own wisdom there to overcome that.  I’m tuning into all parts of myself; mind, body, soul.  I won’t dishonour my needs anymore.  Nor should you!

If you eat a piece of cake, or three, OK: it’s always OK–the key is to be so damn present and aware of the fact that you’re coping, that in your presence, you can be with yourself.  The whole way.  Man, that’s fucking powerful!

In the evenings, generally this is when my body speaks about if I’ve undernourished or not in the daytime.  This is when rules go out the window.  This is the scary time!  

You can’t trick your body into fake nourishment!

AMiRIGHT?!

There’s a reason for the fridge light…and nighttime #humancondition in form of binges.  This is when the body is like:  bitch please

“I’m still LE HUNGRY!”

This is when the body tries to play “catch up” with the under-nourishment, lack of nutrients, fasting.

So, it’s not willpower we lack.  It’s the idea that we can fool ourselves into in-authenticity, into being something we’re not.

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And the first things we try to do after feeling like we’ve overeaten, or if we have overeaten, or goddamn under-eaten for that matter – is run, is escape, is distract, numb: sex, self-pleasing, cigs, alcohol, work-addiction, drugs, even distracting with mindless media scrolling, which is fucked because of all the images of sculpted abs and the impossible flat tummy post-meal…we don’t want to face what our body is speaking to us.

BUT

This IS the pivotal moment to connect and to stop the binge cycle in the future!

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From Michelle Yandle Health

I’m sitting with it when I do it, I’m breathing, in lotus pose bc itsbetterfortheburps….I’m journalling.  I’m asking myself:

  • “was that too much?”
  • “Did I under-eat during the day? or even yesterday?”
  • “Did I turn away from another part of myself I needed?”
  • “Was I trying to fill a void?”

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And, after this reflection, know this:

This too shall pass.

It always does.  May we be wiser for next time.  Tune into our needs periodically so we don’t get hit with the headinthefridgesyndrome.

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