All posts for the month April, 2011

A quick recommendation for reading about Depression

Published April 30, 2011 by Crystal

It’s a bit of an odd weekend today. I am lucky to have wonderful friends, and great support in my husband and Rob. The weekend is quieter than usual, doesn’t help that I’ve acquired husband’s Delhi Belly either, and couldn’t really leave the house for long if I wanted to! But it is giving me a chance to read a book that was recommended to me, and already, only a couplle of chapters in, I know I will be recommending it to others. It’s called “Depressive Illness: The Curse of the strong” by Dr Tim Cantopher. It is a concise book, written in an easy to read way. It gives the physical reason for Depression, along with the models of reasons why the illness appears. It explains the limbic system, in nice siple terms.
The chapters are fairly short, and the author advises those who are dealing with depression to read one or two pages at a time as concentration is low. Yep, that’s true.
What has really helped me, already, is understanding that it is a physical illness, and for every person who has told me to “pull yourself together”, or rather tenderly “get a grip!”, well I realise now that those people really have no clue.
So now I’m in recovery. With a very caring, thoughtful husband, who understands what is needed, and who doesn’t judge, or criticise.
I’d recommend this book to sufferers, and to those who know people suffering. It is a book I will definately be sharing out.


Einstein Attributed

Published April 26, 2011 by Crystal

There is a quote that is quite often banded around; Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. 

Recently I have been pondering how this actually plays into our lives.  How many times do we do the same thing over and over again?  How many times do we hope for a different outcome?  For me, the major area where this seems to ring true is in dietland.  I can no longer count on fingers and toes how many times I have started a diet, full of enthusiasm, that enthusiasm that diminishes each heartbreaking, soulless week that I don’t lose those magic pounds.  How many mornings have I woken up, full of remorse, and with a temporarily renewed promise that today I would stick to my points, syns, green day, atkins day, pea soup and raw cauli day?  And I suppose you could say it was a form of insanity.  Because nothing was any different.  Each day my pattern would be the same, angel at breakfast, halo slipping into lunch, and given up by dinner time.  The diets may change, but the results never really did.  Or atleast not for any particular length of time.  Once I was off the diet, the usual anti diet food celebration event arrived.

The thing I’ve discovered with intuitive eating is that each day is as different as I allow it to be, and slowly the changes are happening.  I’m not making promises I can’t keep.  I’m not berating myself for eating that biscuit, and I don’t need to treat myself with naughty foods that I’ve been deprived of during diet time.  Because I know I can have what I want when I actually want it!  Everyday there is the opportunity to learn something new about myself and my relationship with myself and with food.  I had a mini revelation yesterday.  Rob, myself and the boys were picnicking in our camper and I’d bought a couple of packets of biscuits that I fancied trying.  The shortbread bites by Four Anjels were on offer in co op and looked lovely so I got those and some of the belgian biscuits that are like waffles.  Now i had a bite of the waffle ones and liked them but not enough to eat a whole biscuit so passed on them after the one bite.  But the shortbreads were lovely.  And I realised I was eating them, one after another, just so the boys didn’t polish them off and I’d miss out.  Finally, when there were just two left, I decided to put them away for later, carefully wrapping the two remaining biscuits back up in the packaging and placing them on the side.  While clearing away and tidying up, Rob took the packet and said, there’s just two, may as well eat them now! And Bam! I had a mini rant, good humouredly. “That’s it!  I’m going to get a bisuit tin of my own, for myself, with biscuits that I want, that I can eat when I want without worrying they’re gone!”  Because it suddenly dawned on me that when Rob and the boys get into a packet of biscuits, the childish survival mechanism kicks in, and if I want a biscuit I have to get in there before the vultures do!  We popped to shop, and I found some lovely lemon thins, that are mine!  Mine, mine, mine!  And of course, the packet remains unopened.  hehe
I’ve made peace with food, and thought I’d done the whole stocking up thing.  But turns out, I was still secretly territorial about the biscuits!

So.  Something new in my day.  Not dieting is meaning each day is different, and I’m so happy with that.

If you’re bored of the insanity, look up intuitive eating.  It’s not a diet.  It’s so much more.


Published April 20, 2011 by Crystal

I’ve taken to writing my dreams down. I am looking to see if there is a theme, or a pattern, something my subconscious is telling me. It’s not a hardship. I love sleeping, I love dreaming! Though writing down my dreams the minute I wake up is a groggy affair.
But already over 2 days it makes for interesting reading! For example last night, John Bishop was stacking shelves in some big warehouse, wearing some khakis, then all of a sudden he was being shot at, turned into 2 people now looking tubby and wearing grey sweat suits, and then both vanished after being shot. But I knew he wasn’t actually dead as he’d left me a camera! * !
So on the surface there is no logic. No sense at all. But I am hoping, that by reading through a weeks worth of dreams, I’ll be able to start working out my own dream language.
My gut instinct is that John Bishop represents me, but the comedic side I try to put out to the world to cover my insecurities, though why he turns into two chubby people in sweat suits who are then shot is still somewhat of a mystery. I literally wouldn’t be seen dead in an all grey sweat suit! But maybe this is representing the frumpy sides of me that I am rejecting, and allowing to die, but I actually know it’s not me dead, just aspects of me?

For me, looking into my dreams is a natural extension of developing my intuition, of tuning into what I have dumbed down over the years. It’s a shame that our current culture celebrates science and facts, over intuition and instinct, as if the two are mutually exclusive, as if one cannot exist in light of the other.
But over thousands of years people have used dreams to discover things about themselves, and their situations. They can tell us so much, we just need to learn our own language.
I am hoping, that by reading my dreams, I will gain insight into myself that I have been missing. And it’s fun, so long as I actually get to sleep in the first place!

Being….not doing, not trying, not putting off……just……..being. Learning assertiveness

Published April 19, 2011 by Crystal

I think a large part of the reason I don’t like to be alone with my thoughts at all is because of the dialogues I create in my head. I’ll think over a time when I was misunderstood, and I’ll create a whole discussion out of it. All the things I wish I’d said, or done. The moments when my passiveness caused upset at my expense. And I have many of these times to look back on. My passive tendancies then caused anger and resentment in me, causing me to then be aggressive, ruthless in my actions, because I was now like a volcano, dormant for so long, then bubbling, and now errupting, spewing all my frustration out in every direction.
I have always tried to be a people pleaser, from an early age. A child of divorce, chubby, bullied at school, a scenario played no doubt a million times by a million others. So I strived to be liked, thought that by letting people do what they wanted all the time, or at least most of the time, they’d want to be with me. But then came a point that I realised I didn’t want to be like this, I heard of assertiveness, and aimed for that, but kind of missed the mark, and alot of what I hoped was assertive behaviour came across as aggression. I’m not sorry for this though. I’ve learnt from these times, most definately. I can tell now the people who actually appreciated me for me, who valued being with me regardless of what we did and where we went. And I realised and realise the people who actually understood and understand the journey I am on.
I put on weight during the start of my intuitive eating journey, for many reasons. There were those who could see through this, and see the deep sadness I felt, and the longing to understand myself and heal my relationship with food. And then there were those who decided I’d simply given up, and couldn’t see past that belief of theirs.
On days like today, I find myself pondering over this situation, and similar situations, and waves of emotion come and go. But whereas in the past I’ve gotten upset, and then decided to stop myself, and distract myself, today I am letting those feelings flow, letting them run their course as they should have done at the time. And I’ve acquired a new set of tools now, which I am running through my head when I feel those emotions. I’m giving those feelings value, giving myself value, and in my head I’m explaining to those people why their actions upset me.

The tools are 5 words
“When you”
“I feel”

So, “When you told me you’d told someone I couldn’t be bothered to diet anymore; I feel hurt and upset by it; Because I feel you never really understood the issues I was dealing with, and the sadness I felt in myself”.

This idea is from Anita Johnston’s book, and she goes on to say, that if we are hoping for a change in other peoples attitudes with these tools, we may be disappointed, but if we see the positive change in ourselves, then it’s done its job. It’s not passive, it explains our feelings. It’s not aggressive, it doesn’t place blame or name call. It is assertive and simple.

So this is my new way of being, letting the emotions roll, and minimising the dialogue to something concise and constructive.

Back to the other path, but learnt alot on the scenic route!

Published April 19, 2011 by Crystal

So what was that? A couple of months since my last blog? A dabble with the diet side. I’m not several stone lighter, and I found myself getting twitchy, irritable, and stressed and upset. I thought I was ok. I thought I was doing well and enjoying it, but when I released myself for a few days I realised I’d been missing peace and a calm. I wasn’t happy before I re tried SW, but I certainly wasn’t happier while I was doing it.
I became the numbers on the scales. A gain upset me, a loss thrilled me, so long as it was a substantial loss.
Diets do work for people. There are many who’ve lost weight, maintained it, and enjoy the thrill it gives them, being lighter. But there are many, many more who use food for far more than fuel. We are the disordered eaters. No matter how much good meaning friends tell us “just eat less, or healthily, or exercise” we can’t slot into that “simple” routine.
And we can’t expect our friends to understand our journey, our reasons for overeating. We can’t convey in a way that makes sense that eating that whole pizza isn’t a pure greed thing, that actually it numbs sensations we’d rather not deal with. That when we’re lonely, we cope by eating a large tub of ice cream, because we learnt from an early age that food is comfort, that food is love.
We can’t explain that our spending time planning a binge, what food we will eat, where, and when, distracts us from the lack of wholeness we feel as individuals.
The world is full of dieters, of people congratulating each other on their losses, their slimness. Where are the people congratulating each other on being wonderfully individuals, purely because it’s what we need to hear?
It’s easy to fall into the “happiness trap”, to think when I’m thinner, life will be much better, that everything that is wrong now, while I’m not at the size I want to be, will suddenly turn around and be right.
For me the truth is, that I wasn’t happy slim. If I had been, the disordered eating would have faded into the background. I wouldn’t need to use food the way I’ve felt the need to all my life. But the disordered eating continued because I didn’t believe in my intuition. I’d lost faith in myself, my body’s cues of care and nurture. I used food in a reaction to all sensations, confusing physical hunger and emotional hunger on a everso regular basis.

So I’m back to intuitive eating, but I’m now looking at it in a fae, far more holistic way. I’m looking far deeper than I have before, and I’m having faith in myself to allow emotions to flow, to actually get a sense of what I’ve been running away and protecting myself through my size.
I tried to avoid the naval gazing over the last few years, thinking, if I just follow the simple principles of intuitive eating I will see results. But now I realise the very avoidance of the naval gazing, is the very reason nothing has had the effect I would love. Running away from myself isn’t going to help me gain understanding, the problems will remain! Time to embrace me and all my tawdry quirks!