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Closet Fascination

A blog about a journey, smoking, not smoking, vaping and everything in between

Blogging Vacation: What is next?

So after posting every day for a month, I guess I just needed a blogging vacation. I’m on actual vacation now and in the process of making changes with how I eat which was really the next place to go for me and my unhealthy coping skills.

Food has been my ‘drug’ since I was young. I think my unhealthy relationship with food stemmed from or was passed on to me from my mother. I learned it from her. From a young age, I remember my mom was never happy with her body. Continuous crash diets over the years have resulted in her being rather obese. Which makes sense since these diets typically have low caloric intake and your metabolism slows when it feels like it is starving. My mom is also not very active, something that is different from me. Nevertheless, I think part of my staying active has been out of fear of becoming obese like my mom. In not wanting to be obsessed with food like my mom was, I chose to focus on exercise and eat whatever and as much as I wanted. But you  can’t out train a bad diet… and I think my lack of proper fueling has held me back in some respects with my exercise. That and I developed the exact same pattern with exercise that my mom had with food. Exercise, be awesome for a while and see some positive effects. (In this part of the cycle, my mom would be eating really well, and lose some weight). Plateau and or get injured. (Plateau on weight loss). Quit or reduce exercising (Binge eat). Gain weight and lose fitness gains. (Gain weight). Become depressed at the backslide. Repeat cycle (Both her and I).

But CF all you’ve talked about is exercise. How is food your drug? Well I told you before that when I exercise, I don’t really change my eating. This is pretty much true. I also have my periods of time where I try to eat healthy and then binge but mostly my pattern is one of overeating all the time. I think it is one of the ways I use to battle anxiety. Because anxiety physically feels like hunger to me. Exercise helps mitigate this a little, but if I’m in the Fuck exercise part of the cycle, I gain weight. Unfortunately, I gain weight pretty easily. I’m currently at my peak adult weight of 172 lbs. I carry it well despite my short 5’6” frame. I’ve never been a tiny person, so anything less than about 140, I start looking a bit skeletal. My set point (which I’d like to get back to) for a long time was around 160, plus or minus 5 pounds. But how to do it?

  1. Change my relationship with food and exercise.
  2. Stick with the changes that I make long term.

I’ve lost a lot of weight before. The last time I got to this weight, I lost 22 pounds in a year using Jenny Craig. I would say it was a rather unhealthy way to lose weight and because of the caloric deficiency I never had enough energy to exercise. It is really the only ‘diet’ I’ve ever been on. Plus, once you stop eating their food which nicely regulates things for you, you have to figure out how to eat healthy yourself and I found that to be very difficult.

How I currently view food:

  • Coping mechanism:I eat my feelingsgiphy
  • Best thing in the world
  • Delicious
  • Once I start, I can’t stop

How I would like to view food:

  • A  delicious way to fuel my body
  • Not how I deal with my feelings
  • I’d like to be able to eat like other people

How I view exercise:

  • A means to change my body so that I am happy with it
  • A healthy form of anxiety relief
  • Something I like doing despite it not changing my body

How I want to view exercise:

  • A means to change my body so that I am happy with it
  • A healthy form of anxiety relief
  • Something I like doing despite it not changing my body

I just recently finished a book called ROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life. Long title but great book. It teaches you how to work with your menstrual cycle rather than against and explains a lot about how female physiology is different from men. The food part is interesting because it has you eat for your body type and is all about timing foods to when you will need the nutrients. That is probably the hardest part about the eating plans. My goal is to follow it for a month and see how I feel. It is supposed to help with mood regulation and basically just looks like ‘clean eating’ so no processed foods or artificial sugars. Beyond that, it isn’t really restrictive. There is no calorie counting and it is more about what and when you eat than how much. Day 1 went well. It is Day 2 today and I am feeling a bit hungrier than yesterday. My snack time is coming soon though.

I don’t think I will be posting every day, but I’ll update now and again.

I have had a few cravings to smoke recently, but they pass quickly. My current mantra that helps me resist these cravings is, “I may feel like I need or want to smoke, but the fact is I don’t need to.Feelings aren’t facts.” Inspired by none other than John Oliver’s newest video:

Anyhow… back to my giant to-do list. Until next time.

 

Day 30: A day in the life of me

Well, 30 days has flown by. I like blogging everyday, but sometimes it felt forced. Today was a fake friday as tomorrow is Canada Day. Today was a pretty good snapshot of a typical day for me.

4:50 am- Dog wakes me up to get fed. (I know I need to work on this, but it is only this early during the summer, once the sun starts rising later she will be back to getting up later.Damn circadian rhythms!)

5:00 am- Go back to bed.

5:30 am- Dog needs to go outside to go pee. Get up to let her out.

5:35 am- Back to bed. Dog comes with.

6:10 am- Alarm goes off- I decide to sleep 20 more minutes (Which feels like 5)

6:30 am- Get up and put kettle on for tea.

6:30-6:45 am- Eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth.

6:45 am- Make tea for husband and I

6:50 am- Pour tea.

6:50-7:00am- Get ready to leave, get dog in car.

7:00-7:20 am- Drive Husband to train station

7:20-7:45 am- Drive Dog to daycare

8:00 am Arrive at work.

8:00 – 8:50 am- Mark student work, get ready for class.

8:50- Morning Meeting (later than usual which means I missed going to the bathroom before my class started.

9:00 am- 10:50 am- Teach my class (This week I was teaching intro to computers)

11:00 am- 12:30- Lunch with co-workers (Sushi- to die for as usual)

12:30-1 pm Prep for class.

1-1:15 pm- Class arrives. My class was good this week so they got to watch a movie this afternoon.

1:15- 3:10- Class. I marked, they finished assignment/watched a movie. It was awesome.

3:15-3:30- Coffee Break (For them, I worked through it)

3:30-4:00 pm- Gave students their marks in the course, watched some funny Kevin Hart clips.

4:03 pm- Arrive at my vehicle.

4:15 pm- Pick up my dog.

4:40 pm- Pick up my husband.

5:02 pm- Get the mail. I had a package and the post office was closed.😦

5:08 pm- Arrive home.

5:15 pm- Decide what to eat for supper.

6:20 pm- Actually start making supper.

7:00 pm- Eat supper. Salmon chowder. My husband and I are trying to eat at home as much as possible and not just go out or to the grocery store every time we need supper.

7:30 pm-9:30- Google hangouts with friends to play an RPG. Tonight we were building our characters.

9:30-10:20- Worked on my character alone for a bit. Then realized I should write this post.

10:40- Finish writing this post.

10:45-11:05- Meditate

11:30 pm- Go to bed.

When you write it out like this is it pretty mundane, but honestly I had a great day today.I’m not sure I’ll post every day next month but I certainly want to keep up with blogging.

Meditation: Street Relief

Challenge Day 29: If I had a million dollars 

If I had a million dollars:

  1. I’d pay off my debt. All of it. 
  2. Invest some. 
  3. Travel
  4. Take care of my parents
  5. Look into buying an acreage.
  6. Donate some

I wouldn’t quit my job. I love my job and a million isn’t that much. With not having a mortgage or any other payments, my pay cheque is more than comfortable to live off of.

I’ve heard winning the lottery ruins people. I think it is because people buy lottery tickets thinking it will change their lives for the better when really you are the same person with the same problems just more money to waste on them. 

Meditation:Peaceful Sleep Meditation


Ironically, the peaceful sleep meditation says to have the room at the right temperature for you. It is do hot here. Impossible.

Challenge Day 28: Favourite Movie and Quote

Carpe, carpe. Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.

The above quotes is from my favorite movie of all time. The Dead Poet’s Society. I rented this movie on a whim when I was in grade 9 and loved it from the first time I watched it.

I’ve always loved this movie. The message about seizing the day, going after your dream, living life to its fullest has always resonated with me.

I think a large part of it is because I really identify with the character Todd Anderson. I didn’t always know why but today I figured it out. Both Todd and I suffer from anxiety.

I actually have only been putting this together recently. I can’t believe I never connected the dots with this before now, but I think I’ve been anxious my whole life. It certainly explains a lot. It explains my overeating, my compulsive use of nicotine and why I was drawn/liked smoking to begin with. As well as various other coping mechanisms developed along the way.

Like Todd, I suffer from social anxiety. How I cope: normally if the social situation has food, I eat the whole time I am at the event. I think this could be why I feel drained at the end of a drain- less so now that I work with adults and don’t like I have to ‘put on a show’ for them as much. If you were to ask me which vape or smoke I miss the most it would be the one right after work. Probably because I feel totally anxious right as my work day ends. Today, I used deep breathing in the car to calm myself down.

I used to think that I was getting really hungry at the end of the day but it turns out it is anxiety.

My next ongoing challenge: figure out the healthiest ways to deal with my anxiety. Meditation works, so keeping up with that will be key. Exercise works. The smoking/vaping thing didn’t work out so well. Eating isn’t working so hot either. So learning how t change that will be my next challenge.

Meditation:Peaceful Sleep Meditation

 

 

Challenge Day 27: Sliding Door Moments

Day 27: Sliding door moments: pick one or two moments from your life that could have drastically changed the course of your life.

I’ve been looking forward to this prompt for a while but when I sat down to write tonight, it was actually really hard to pick just one or two moments. I’ve often thought about this question in relation to my smoking. But the thing is: all the time I could have started smoking regularly, I always picked to not start. And when I imagined my life and how it would be different, ultimately I think would have ended up exactly where I am now only with more exposure to carcinogens. The only difference possibly being I might still be vaping nicotine as perhaps I’d be used to being in withdrawal when I can’t smoke/use nicotine and wouldn’t remember things being different. So that sliding door moment, it turns out is actually pretty mundane despite the amount of the thought I gave it.

Another moment: My friends really wanted me to go to the same university as them, but I chose to go off on my own to another city. Basically, my life would be completely different. I’d have different friends, I wouldn’t have met my husband or some of my best friends. It is hard to even imagine. I think I might have still become a teacher at some point though.

Another moment: Not moving into the city when I was a teen, staying with the friends that I had known since elementary school. First, I would have remained a part of drama productions, something that I stopped doing when I moved to the city because I didn’t get any parts. I would have never played rugby and who know what I would have picked to go to school for after high school. A large part of why I chose to go into science was because of my biology teacher in High School.

I’d go on, but the more I think about it, while aspects of my life would have been drastically different, there are something things that appear to be really consistent about who I am that would have probably resulted in very similar things happening in different ways.

Like the smoking thing: it eventually happened in the city, I would have eventually tried it in the town I left. I guess a totally different sliding door that I have trouble actually imagining is: what if I had never tried smoking. So never taken that first puff at 16, never hung around with the smokers in the smoking car, attempting to inhale, never trying again and succeeding at the age of 17, never buying my own cigarettes at the age of 18. I think I can’t imagine it because I think it was going to happen eventually.

I feel the same about teaching. I fought becoming a teacher for so long but everything I loved doing involved teaching. So eventually my path brought me to teaching. Same with my interest in psychology. I’m not a counsellor, but now I do a job that combines my love of psychology with my love of teaching.

But then again, perhaps each change, changes parts of us resulting in completely different realities. My mind hurts just trying to think about it…

Meditation: Guided Awareness-for Obsessive Thoughts

Challenge Day 26: Favourite Books

quote___the_alchemist_by_lllrares0ullll-d6k5hrwDay 26: My favourite books

I have lots of favourite books but I only have two that I come back to again and again. I mentioned these in the random facts about me but I don’t think I went into why these books are my favorite.

1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

I first read this in grade 11 when it was assigned as a book study. I ended up reading the book in one night. I found it inspiring, like nothing I had ever read before. I remember I was going through a rough time in my life. I was very depressed due to a combination of factors. My self-esteem was low and I had some of the most self-destructive self-talk which just helped me stay in my negative behavior pattern. The book talks about omens and how life is often trying to tell you through omens what your life’s path is. The book talks a lot about destiny, which I’m not sure I believe in but enough of it rang true that it helped motivate me to slowly start taking action to better my life. I wouldn’t go to the counseling I desperately needed until a year later, but it started the upward crawl toward being happy again. The main ideas of the book are summarized in this blog post written by Paulo Coehlo. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve read this book. I get something different out of it every time I read. Just reading the quotes from the book, this one stuck out as being true in my life right now.

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

2. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
I first read this book at age of 13. My best friend had just read it and told me I had to read it. I think I like this one because it talks about who we are as people, as humans and puts to question the nature of sentient life and what it means to be sentient, amongst other themes. I think I partially like reading this again and again because the familiarity of the story is soothing.

My favourite quote from this book is:

In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them…. I destroy them.

Those are my two main favourite books. A month of blog posting has gone by fast. I’m already contemplating my next challenge. More on that in the next couple of days.

Meditation: Heart Centered Meditation

Challenge Day 25: Love

What makes you feel loved?

Cuddling. There is nothing like it. I think this is something that I’ve loved since I was a child. My husband prefers to sex, says he finds it more intimate.

The second thing is people being there for me when I need them. And sometimes just being there even though they don’t know I need them. I don’t expect that of people so when it happens it is that much more special.

The third and last thing is actually just being told that I am appreciated gives me that warm, loved feeling.

Meditation: Expression of gratitude and love

Challenge Day 24: Honesty

everybody-lies-dr-house-quote-backgroundDay 24: What is the most common reason for you to be dishonest?  What do you think this means for you?

Easy question: Anything I feel shameful or that other people will judge me for. Smoking was a big one. I used to lie about smoking all the time. I mean that is what closet smokers do.

Why? I think it is normal to hide the parts of ourselves that we are least proud of.

The thing is, in order to get close to people, you got to be honest with them. You have to be vulnerable. Which opens you up to getting hurt. Hence why we lie.

To quote House: Everybody lies. What I’ve learned is the people I can trust the whole truth to are the people I’m going to work hard to keep in my life.

Meditation:Breathing Calmness

Challenge Day 23: What makes me grin

Today’s question: What makes you grin or captures your attention for no reason other than it is fun for you?

This one is easy for me. My dog. She is always doing something entertaining.

image

I find it most entertaining when she decides to roll in the freshly cut grass. Less entertaining when she decides to roll in poo.

Meditation: Meditate in the moment

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