All posts for the month February, 2013

Stop with the diet stuff! I’m not breaking this resolution!

Published February 17, 2013 by Crystal

I am not dieting this year.   I’ve spent years dieting.  And I’m big.  And heavy.  Dieting has not helped me to lose and then maintain a weight loss.  While I appreciate and accept that there are people who succeed, there are many others, like me, for whom dieting ends in a gain.  And misery.  And self loathing.

And I need to remind myself of this today.  Because yesterday the dieting messages were coming thick and fast, and I ended up dreaming about dieting.

“X has lost 30lbs on the 5:2 diet”.

I’m pleased for them.  I’m glad it’s worked for them.  I understand and believe that fasting has many benefits, both physically and  psychologically.  But for me, if I were to start this plan, I would be doing it purely for weight loss and I don’t want to be back in that place.  It’s taken a long time to believe I am more than a number on the scale.  Why would I want to go back to a regime that is based on weight loss?  The sad thing is, the experiment that Michael Mosley took part in, and that caught the headlines was actually fasting for longevity, to improve overall health, to see how the body reacts and improves with fasting.  It wasn’t based purely on weight loss.  Alas, being societies most important concern, thousands of Brits have jumped onto the bandwagon.  It’s the next Atkins, or South Beach, or whatever.  And it will be working for people, and for them I’m glad.  But it’s not for me.

I have a good idea of what would happen if I was to fast for two days of a week.  Food would reach a whole new level.  I’d be dreaming of the food I could eat the day after fast.  I’d be snorting plates of deliciousness on the days I did fast.  I’d be miserable.  I would think of nothing but food.  I like food.  Why would I want to avoid it for two days a week?

I can not diet.  Not this year.  It’s only February, thought I’d made it safely through January, but whoa, there it is!  The diet armies, out in force, pointing out my big old body, and the pounds I need to lose.

I’m not giving in.  I’m more than my size.




Rollright Stones, again.

Published February 11, 2013 by Crystal



Just wanted to share this photo my husband took on Saturday.  Far better than my measly camera phone snap I shared at the time.   Something magical and healing about Rollright Stones.  A place of calm, even when bitterly cold.

Wanting to not want.

Published February 11, 2013 by Crystal

I’ve woken up realising that an old habit is dying very hard.

After years of dieting, and deciding to get off that old wheel of misery, I’ve still noticed the odd negative criticisms creeping in through the day.  I’m not in a good place at the moment, back on anti depressants, sleeping very erratically, and generally finding it hard at the moment, and I imagine these things aren’t helping to keep the diet mentality from trying to sneak back in.

I’m focussing on eating when physically hungry, and stopping when full (not stuffed, just satisfied).  I’m focussing on not worrying too much about my food choices, not limiting or depriving myself and causing a binge of some sort.   And I started this with the genuine belief that if I never lose weight I will accept that, so long as I am physically healthy and happy.  Unfortunately though, those horrid subversive thoughts are making their way back again.

“I wonder if I’ve lost any weight yet”

“I need to eat less bread”

“I eat too much oil and not enough veg, I should have less oil”

“I want an avocado but I’d eat too much and too many.”

“I wonder how quickly I could lose a stone”


Now I can probably attribute the negative messages to the state I am in at the moment.  I’m the first to look and criticise my body when actually I’m upset about something else.  What I do need to put into action though is the stopping these thoughts in their track.  More than ever at the moment I need to counter the negativity with self affirmation.  I can celebrate the fact that I’ve noticed what is going on, this is big progress since stepping off the diet treadmill.

Think I’ll be having an awful lot of conversations with myself while I silence those negative thoughts!

Published February 10, 2013 by Crystal

Interesting thoughts

[writing] between friends


Here is the immediate context in a long-term process: right before Christmas, a school shooting, killing children who were the age of my twin boys, sitting diligently in their classrooms like mine do every day. My quiet tears at the simplest moments in the following weeks, self-censored, because they do not know, don’t need to know, and feel responsible for their mother’s emotional health. Next, a letter to Santa, written in 7-year-old, erratic hand, “nerf gun and bullets” at the top of the list.  Then, a New York Times piece, hypothesizing, with some flaws, that as we usher in “The End of Men,” we will see an increase in white, young, male-inflicted violence as those creatures, previously at the top of the chain, bluster around without a way to be.

Finally, the Eureka! moment at the ice-skating rink: skating slowly and steadily with my toddler girl, around the…

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Off on a journey

Published February 9, 2013 by Crystal

Well after a miserable fortnight, and then a lovely wee jaunt in the camper last night, we’ve decided to get out and go on a one day road trip!

Fortunately we have the gorgeous Cotswolds on our doorstep, and the boys have suggested Bourton on the Water.  Normally we go and they end up in the river.  I think it may be too cold for that this week, thankfully.  And hopefully, it will be less of a tourist hotspot today!

I’ll be taking the camera and getting snappy happy, so be prepared for photos!

Not one, but two owls!

Published February 8, 2013 by Crystal

We went for a drive at dusk this evening, in the old faithful campervan.  I love our campervan Fay.  A journey is always an adventure in a camper.  You can’t help but smile, and it was hugely appreciated after what has been a more than hellish fortnight.

The wonderful thing is that I saw not one but two snowy owls flying close to the van.  Having rarely ever seen one, it is beautiful and of deep meaning for me to see two.  I strongly believe that animals will make us aware of themselves when the spirit world are trying to tell us something, so not being up on my owl totem knowledge, I returned home to find out what they want me to know.

I discovered a beautiful piece of writing, and thought I would share it with you here.

 Owl Totem

In Greek and Roman mythology Glaucus (glaring eyes) was the owl that is seen accompanying Athena or Minerva and is symbolic of wisdom and vigilance; because the owl is capable of seeing even in the dark and of vigilance and is awake at night.

The nineteenth-century idealist philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel famously noted that “the owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk”—meaning that philosophy comes to understand a historical condition just as it passes away. Philosophy cannot be prescriptive because it understands only in hindsight.

As a totem animal owls have long been associated with both death and wisdom (from their association with Athena). Their association with death comes from their peerless ability as predatory hunters of the night, they are able to navigate through the most densely forested areas in order to seek out and capture their prey.Owl knows that all apparent manner of death is in fact a liberation into a new life. Something must first be cleared away for anything new to be born. At the time it may seem incredibly painful because we have been taught that death is an ending, not a new beginning, and that what is in the process of being born is always more beneficial than the old. The pain and grief is extended and heightened when we try to hang on to what was because we believe that this is the best we would have, and the unknown can seem dreadfully forbidding.
Owl can take us beyond those thoughts and fears, for Owl sees far into the future and knows that even after the darkest night there is a new dawn that is approaching. It is as inevitable as babies crying and of buds bursting for th from plants in the spring. From every death something new must emerge for life is ever renewing itself. All of life is interconnected and we are all part and parcel of the same fabric that wends its way through the stories of our own life and death. Death then becomes not a loss but a new adventure to be explored with great abandon and joy.

Owl people also need to get a certain amount of daytime/solar energy via the sun, yellow crystals or flowers and so forth lest they become out of balance with the nocturnal side of their nature. It can be easy for Owl people to want to shun the daylight as they tend to be more comfortable at night, and yet they too need the balance that the solar world provides. They might feel overly exposed when out in the daylight and thus it helps them to wear a talisman or shield of some sort where they feel they are protected from the energies of others as often they are extremely sensitive and psychic.

From Dangerousinthedark

For me, this seems very appropriate at this moment in time, and I am comforted by the guidance given, and being reminded that the darkest night is always followed by the dawn is what I need right now.