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Archive for the ‘Faith: “More Health Please”’ Category

It’s been a while since I’ve been here. Where have I been, you ask? Well, school has started back up. And, of course there’s still the job hunt…..

But really? I think that I’ve been baracading myself in the walls of perfectionism. Which (go figure) has left me paralyzed in some areas, and taking limited action in others.

And then, I get…..lonely. And scared. 

And I forget about my humanity. You know, that I’m not meant to be perfect and that no one expects perfection but me. Mmm….. 

Being in that fortress has that effect on me. But here I am. I am putting it all out on the table. Yep! Since school has started, I haven’t been getting my meditation on. Yep! I struggle with binge eating, and have been full on in it. And, yep! I’m still looking for work.

But….you know what? I’m learning.

I’ve begun to see the cost of perfectionism – and the fear, isolation, and shame that it creates for me (’cause you know, nothing is ever good enough). I’m noticing my automatic tendency to see a problem. Then, to go off on my own to figure it out – forgetting that humans are interdependent. Oh, and that I am indeed human (I know, I know. This was a shocker to me too, as I thought that I was a super-human). 

We are meant to reach out, connect, and support one another. So, I’m learning. There are bumps along the way. But really? It’s all good.

I get to re-define this food elimination thing. ‘Cause there are no rules (only the ones that I make up in my head). And I’m doing just that (more on that later). I get to reach out and be open to trusting & receiving support. And I’m doing that too (shout out to my new action/accountability buddy -yaaay :-))!

This…stuff, is all a process. But I’m fastening my seatbelt and going on the ride!

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So, here I am back home. Actually, I’ve been back for a couple of days now. Today’s the first day since I’ve been back that I’ve begun to feel more like myself  – or at least the zen, feelin’ it, loving life self that I aspire to be. Woke up, meditated, had breakfast, called temp agencies, sent out resumes, had lunch, searched jobs, applied to positions – all while getting my jam on. Yeah, I was groovin’!

Here’s the thing though. I may possibly have an evil twin. Yeah, you heard me. You know the food elimination/sensitivity program that I’m on? Well, it’s still bananas. My food has not yet adjusted to my groovin’ to the music vibe. Arrgh – frustrating!

So, in the meantime I am getting honest and doing a little research about which  foods it may actually be beneficial for me to eliminate, then reintroduce into my diet. This will be my way of personalizing my food elimination plan. Side note: can some of the not-so -healthy food (read: junk) that I’ve been eating count as “research?” Just sayin’. Side, side note & shout out: Matthewbrownjackson – if that weight loss meditation is working, feel free to pass it on over here.

No day count today. But that’s okay, right?

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Well, I’ll be heading back home soon (can I get an amen?), but first I want to check in about this past weekend – here with my mom, food, and my routine shake up.

So how was this weekend? Nuts. This weekend my elimination diet/food sensitivity program went hay-wire. It started Friday afternoon. Yep! Crackers, bread, cream cheese, and raisins – that was the beginning. It’s amazing how my mind wants to make up shit. You know – to narrowly focus on what I did “wrong.”

But the thing is, I did alot “right” too. Friday was also the first time since beginning this food program that I’ve had salad (and I really like salad), and other lovely veggies.  Plus, I’ve continued to practice my 5 minutes of  meditation every morning.

So, what can I learn from this? And, how will I choose to move forward?

I’ve decided to broaden out my elimination food program a bit – tailoring it really more to my needs (or to what I think my needs are). Mmm… maybe this is why I’ve been seeing other versions of this elimination diet all around me. Mmm….

Truth is at home, I totally fell into a rut. Eating practically the same exact foods everyday, for (almost) every meal. Variety. That’s the name of the game. Maybe this was/is my body’s way of reminding me that it needs this.

With all of this said, on Saturday I decided to simply enjoy my time with my mom – including the wide range of foods available – and to do what I can to suspend judgement. And, I’ll modify my food sensitivity/elimination program when I get back – and begin again.

Ahh…. one to grow on.

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Well, today is day #12 (woo-hoo!). I’m in Maryland, here with my mom. It feels kind of weird to be out of my routine and environment. To be honest, I feel a bit….lost.

Before leaving home I had breakfast, and packed my lunch to go. But, dinner was a bit of a challenge. My mom had some traditional Jamaican food – Ackee and salt fish with breadfruit – that she had saved just for me. What to do, what to do? There’s nothing in this food sensitivity/allergy program that really addresses foods like these. Well, I can tell you what I did. I ate it, every last morsel! Yummo!!! Then I had my usual snack of nuts (umm..alot of nuts). And no, they weren’t raw. Oh, well. My mind wants to play beat up. You know, come up with all of the reasons why today’s meals/snacks are just not “up to par.”

Well, you know what I say to that? Blah! Fuwee! And… kiss my grits! That’s right, I said it. I’ve decided to cut myself some slack. I’m here with my mom (love her, but yeah – challenging), doing the best that I can. And I’ve decided to accept that my “best” here may just look different from my “best” at home. You know what? I’m okay with that. So, while I am still within the guidelines of the food sensitivity program, it looks different. I’m eating different foods, and more abundantly.

Another learning opportunity. I get to practice being open – letting go of some rigidity. Mmm…gotta love these challenges opportunities for growth.

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Faith has been writing for the past week and a half about her food elimination diet. Although diet seems to be the wrong word… it is more of a food exploration! I’m seeing how this project is opening up more things for her than food, how it is also her getting connected to herself.

“Faith” is a misnomer… as she prefers to remain anonymous. I’m glad she is still open to sharing her writing and journey on the blog! She’s someone I’ve known for the past year, and in that time we’ve seen one another through our various roller coaster rides. From the outside, it is really clear to me how far she has come in just one year. She’s a lady who gives love… consider all her posts to be virtual hugs. Because if you knew her in person, you’d be getting a real one!

She’s going to be writing under the username “faithexplorations.”

yay faith!

🙂

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Well, there is lots of zen happening in people’s lives!!! Jamie is on her second day of her 40 days of meditation, and Faith is on her 8th day of her food elimination diet. Today Faith shares about her experience going to a Zen Buddhist center and… meditating. Here’s Faith:

So, here I am on day #8 (yaay!). Today, I feel challenged. This morning was great. Woke up, had breakfast. Then I went to a Zen Buddhist center that I’ve been meaning to check out. It was a great experience. Well, except for the part where I got light-headed, felt hot and faint during the standing chant, then had to excuse myself from the room to sit down. Umm..can we say embarrassing? Yeah, well.

Anyways, I’m sitting as still as possible for the seated meditation. Inhale through the nose, exhale through the nose. Focus on the breath. Now, I’m trying simply to observe my thoughts without getting too attached to them and without judging them. Sounds simple enough (um, it’s not though). It seems like I have a billion thoughts racing through my head. Some of which I can’t even really explain. After a while, they’re like jibberish in my head. Then… back to the breath. After the meditation, one of the senior students gives a talk. The topics? Impermanence; and Being Still in the Midst of Activity. Mmm….

Now, it’s over, and I’m outside making my way home – back in the “real” world. And, I’m hungry. Like really hungry. And all I can think about is why the hell did I decide to do this food sensitivity test thing? Whose bright idea was this? Am I nuts? Then my mind begins picturing foods. Even once I’m home and have had something to eat, my mind is still going. What does it want now? Right now, it wants cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. Melted cheese, block cheeses, smoked cheese – just cheese. Ugh!!  So, what’s a girl to do?

Breathe. A big, fat breath. No judgement. The thought will pass if I allow it to. I guess this is a chance for me to practice detachment. I could be thinking about something totally different in a moment. Ahhh…impermanence. Mmm…guess I’ll see.

I find it interesting that today, both ladies had some challenges come up.

I suppose it is not all butterflies, as Jamie said. But without any darkness there would be no light!

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Remember Faith, who just started 30 days of eliminating food from her diet to find the best food for her body? Here she is, on day 5!

So, today is day #5 of this food sensitivity/allergy test. Can I just say, that I’m really loving getting in touch with my roots? No, literally – root vegetables that is. I’ve rediscovered the yumminess of the sweet potato. I’m enjoying the slight bitter goodness of turnips. And this morning? It was all about frying up some green plantains. I freakin’ LOVE plantains! Now I know that plantains are not a root vegetable, being from the banana family and all. But who cares? Now plantains, really do bring me back to my (Jamaican) roots. I used to make them alot. Then for some wacky reason, I just kinda stopped. Yes, we’ve been separated for way too long.

These last couple of days have really been interesting. I’ve had moments of wanting some food that I’m currently not eating, but then the moment passes and I’m fine. The trick for me is to acknowledge the desire for whatever food , but to not get too attached to it. For the first time I feel like I’m actually present to the signals that my body is giving me about nourishing it. I’m enjoying this process of discovery. In a way I feel like I’m getting to play. For a long time I just took food waaaay too seriously. Especially when I was trying to adhere to one diet or another (high protein! no, low-carb! low fat’s the answer! blah, blah, blah…) as if there was some kind of solution in any of them. Now, I get to just go in  the store – see what looks good to me, feel what my body wants – and move on. No fuss, no muss.

Well, that’s all folks (for now)! I’ll check in with you guys again soon.

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