Self-Care Bingo

One of my groups is doing “self-care bingo” this week and I wanted to select a couple areas to work on. One of the prompts is to write down 5 good things about myself. Here they are:

  1. I am living in my most authentic way in this moment.
  2. I go out of my way to express and show and take care of others.
  3. I am able to admit my mistakes and take action to fix them.
  4. I can do hard and scary things when I know that is what is right for me to do.
  5. I can take care of myself but also let others care for me.

Goals for 2022

Today’s Question in Fat 2 Fit MFP Group:

What was your number one goal for 2022?
How’s that going?
What’s today’s plan?

My goal for 2022 was to stay open to the chaos. Checking in with myself, I am very happy with how I continue to combat my challenging habit of numbing out when things get ugly. I am getting better at setting boundaries so that I can feel safer in an “opened” inner space.

Today’s plan is to keep focused on my hydration, as that is so often the missing link in any day, as I drink so little.

Weight Loss Group Prompts

This week I am responding to some prompts from my “Fat 2 Fit” weight loss group in MFP. I joined the group in January and have found myself feeling both inspired and overwhelmed. The following is today’s question:

What was your biggest regret from 2021 in your health routine (fitness, nutrition, water intake, etc.)?
How has that changed?
What’s on tap for today?

“Regret” is not the perfect word for me, as regret is something that I do not feel. Even horrible experiences are not ones that I regret. I feel grateful for challenges in my life, and I always try to see how I can use them to move forward. But, I will reframe the question for myself, because I understand the essence of the question.

2021 saw the biggest weight gain I have ever experienced in my life. I am currently at my personal heaviest weight. When I look back to the last year, I am not sure about why I have gained this weight. My go-to answer would be mishandling stress from the pandemic — and that makes sense, and it is true. My deeper answer is that I wanted to gain weight; a part of me must have wanted that in order for it to happen. So I look at it, and ask myself why I would want to feel this way.

Of course, answering a deeper question like that requires a lot of personal responsibility, but I am not afraid of that. I have always been afraid to gain weight. In fact, being muscular and fit has driven me since I was 16; I was obsessed with how I looked, being beautiful, strong, desirable. I’ve held on tightly to that and I have never really let it slip until this last year. A part of me, I think, has always wondered what I would do if I were fat, if I could let my hold on my beauty go…who would I be then?

Honestly, I know I’ve gained weight in order to explore this, on a subconscious level. It’s been eye-opening. So much of my worth centers on my beauty. But I am curious! I want to see where this can lead me, how I am going to deal with it, how I am going to feel, whether I can use this as an opportunity to step out from behind my mask. When people see me as common or fat or ugly or old, can I maintain my worth in my own eyes?

My “regret” is that I am so attached to how I look. I have done well with navigating through it, lots of positive self-talk and affirmations. And yet, I cling, in part, to what others want me to be.

Today, what’s “on tap” is more of the same. Being present in a plump body for the first time, allowing myself space to feel that and witness that. And working toward something truly stronger as I manifest, through highs and lows, who I really want to be.

The Year of Radical Self Care

Most people, I think, require deep rest. If you are part of this capitalist society then you may be aware that rest is not an easily-procured thing. Oftentimes rest is considered weakness. This is true for both men and women but in some different ways.

I, like most moms with a career, have not had opportunities for rest and have had to carve time out for self-care. Once that puzzle was figured out (and it takes some trial and error), a more complicated problem emerges: how to allow that care to emerge, how to accept it.

Found a few minutes in the day to spend on caring for your needs? Figured out what to do to take care of yourself? Now the problem — how do you accept that care?

Seems like a problem fraught in privledge, and it is. It is also one grounded in the internalization of cultural ideals about women and mothers. It is also a problem of capitalism, standardized educational practices, marginalization, and stigmas about mental health, to only name a few that pop off in my mind when I think about why it has been so difficult for me to accept my plan of self-care.

Seems like a problem fraught in privledge, and it is. It is also one grounded in the internalization of cultural ideals about women and mothers. It is also a problem of capitalism, standardized educational practices, marginalization, and stigmas about mental health, to only name a few that pop off in my mind when I think about why it has been so difficult for me to accept my plan of self-care.

Here’s my confession: as soon as I sent out my resignation letters, I began what has turned into a month of frantic searching for another job. My mind cannot stop probing into what I am going to do.

Now, my husband is on board and vowed to support me financially for the next year as I supported him financially during the first two years of our relationship. He wants me to take this time, as he did, to explore and find enjoyment in my career again.

I have many questions: what are my passions now? What brings me a sense of vitality and grounding? Where is my heart? What does self-care look like in my 40s?

Anyone would be lucky to have this opportunity.

I am also taking this year of radical self-care to prepare for adoption from foster care, a process into which we are about one year.

Sounds great, right? How wonderful to have alotted this time and space for such magickal work!

But I am struggling to allow myself this space! I have an interview lined up next week and I only JUST posted grades for my last class three days ago. The panic is REALLY REAL for me, yet I am not completley sure what I am panicked about. It’s a nameless dread…always.

Wellness Diary: Week 9

At the end of Week 8 I weighed myself and found that I lost a pound after staying steady for weeks. This sent me into a panic, as losing weight usually does.

I am not sure that many can relate to freaking out when the scale goes down; most people celebrate weight loss. But for me, when I see the scale move down I begin to panic. The reasons for this are manifold as all reasonings for complex reactions are: they relate to trauma and, of course, fear.

Nevertheless, there it is.

I lost a pound and spent the next few days in an overeating binge haze, trying ostensibly to regain that weight and more.

My second reaction after this was to vow to never weigh myself again, trying to pin down the symptom of the problem as if fixing THAT would fix the underlying real problem.

Self-awareness goes a long way, and has helped me un-do my ridiculous thinking patterns over the years.

No, stopping weighing myself is not going to take care of my problem. I have learned that avoidance only conjures MORE avoidance, and that when piled on top of my already-pretty-strong trauma around weight, only makes the problem worse.

What needs to be done is what has ALWAYS needed to be done, and continues to GET done: I need to hunker down deep into my anxiety and phobia and trauma and LOOK at what is happening, and FEEL what is happening so that I can understand it. It’s a tough thing to understand, but I DO know what is going on, and I DO know how to fix. I have the key to everthing.

I just need to continue on my journey as a voice inside tells me that I am not perfect enough to continue it. I hear that voice. I acknowledge it. I reach out my arms to hug the girl who speak that way to herself. She can either choose to take that hug or not…but it’s there no matter what, and without judgment for her.

So, I continue on to Week 9, having lost no weight in 9 weeks, having questioned myself time and time again, having thought about quitting this journey….but staying dedicated to myself. Here in Week 9, I’m not giving up because my goals are more than weight loss. My goal is to live my best life, standing in my strength, which means never avoiding my weaknesses, but positioning them as tools to help me know myself better.

I believe that THIS approach is what really changes lives.

To be a Witch

“The first time I called myself a ‘Witch’ was the most magical moment of my life.”

Margaret Adler, Drawing Down the Moon

I begin this shadow book site in order to keep good order of what I learn on my journey of self discovery, which sounds a bit strange coming from a woman of middling years. But, since I only yesterday had a parasitic curse removed from my lineage by a shaman — the parasite was so mingled with me that distinguishing one from the other was impossible — I figured now is a good time to get to know myself in a deeper way. I know, right?! Those ancient parasitic curses can be doozies.

Apparently, I will feel myself lifted up out of the veil in coming months. That is exciting stuff. I always was a witch, but never stepped into that power until recently. I am sure that is the story of many women. Discovering what kind of witch I am and my proclivities is going to be a journey; but everything really is a journey.

Magic will be discovered, confidence built, talents honed — and all documented. Exciting times.