Awareness is the Key

So I really didn’t set any resolutions and I usually don’t. It is not like I don’t have anything that I would like to change. It’s just I have a history of when I fail at a resolution feeling pretty bad about myself. So I have learned to not set myself up for failure.

I can see why people do set resolutions being that it is a new year… A new year to a new me. I do like the idea behind it. I certainly was ready to start a new year, after the year I had. Though no amount of time would make me forget what I went through.

One of the last conversations I had with my Mother was her making me promise to work on my weight. I sometimes wonder if she didn’t know she was going to die. I don’t even like to think about that.

So I am attempting becoming more healthy in my life. I don’t like to use that naughty word… DIET!!! Something about that word leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. It feels so constricting, hard to stomach.

My recent discovery of how I view my body (dirty) has helped me with my choices when it comes to eating. One of my main food crutches is Pepsi. There is something about the sweetness that really gets me going. When I consistently drink it daily it does a number on my body, both with the weight I gain and my mobility with my knees and legs. When you drink at least a two liter of Pepsi a day, it is easy to start packing on the pounds. The last year I started to have issues with my knees. It got to the point where I struggled with walking and getting around. Recently I discovered when I stop drinking Pepsi my leg issues seem to disappear. My therapist pointed out that the sugar was probably aggravating my joints. I had never knew that was possible.

It has been over a week since I drank Pepsi consistently. I won’t lie it has been very tough to give up. There have been moments that I really craved the taste but I would think about the paint that was associated with it and it stopped me from buying a Pepsi. One of my weaknesses with Pepsi is whenever I eat pizza, they go hand to hand. I can’t remember the last time I had pizza without Pepsi. Well last Friday night I stopped at Little Caesars to buy a baby pan pizza. Wouldn’t you know that they had a cooler stacked full of yummy Pepsi. It was like I was being tested by the Pepsi God’s… My first thought was to buy a two liter but that is usually how it starts. I will get one two liter, then another… Before you know it I am back to drinking Pepsi. So I thought well I will get a 20 oz. of Pepsi… but I didn’t think that was big enough to quench my thirst. There was a Speedway gas station next door and I said to myself, I can get a one liter there.

Then something just clicked. I remembered I had some diet soda in my car. So I resisted all my urges and had diet soda with my pizza in the first time in years. It felt like a victory, even though I thought Pepsi would have tasted so much better! 🙂

As much as I love the taste of Pepsi it isn’t worth or equal to the pain and lack of mobility that Pepsi causes. So Pepsi and I must go our separate ways. Now I am not going to say I won’t ever have one again because that just sets me up to fail. If I tell myself I can’t have something, I will always do it. Plus this way if I do have a Pepsi I won’t have all the guilt for failing my commandment.

Awareness is monumental for me. Sure there is a lot more I could be doing but having the awareness is one big step forward for me.

Years ago I went to this meditation group where the mediator talked about awareness. She basically said that those who are at the awareness step need to give themselves a lot more credit. That being aware is a huge level of progress and so much further ahead than not being aware. When you are aware you can begin to change and grow. It is at awareness where real change begins. Sure you could be further ahead by taking action but you will get there. Take baby steps. Allow yourself to breath.

The process of awareness is very much like throwing pebbles into a pond, the ripples of which will radiate out positively, far and wide. Your awareness of something will radiate energy throughout your body.

I certainty have had my exposure with awareness but this is the first time that I have really went deep into my issues. I think my biggest struggle with losing the weight is I wasn’t identifying the real problem. I was treating the effect, not the problem. Being able to realize that I view my body as dirty has been revolutionary in making healthy choices.

Being healthy I am finding is rather intimidating. Becoming healthy is going to be a lifestyle change for me. As panicky as it makes me feel, I must do this!!! The consequences if I don’t are severe. Seeing my Mom in the hospital like she was, with the COPD from smoking, seriously has put a few things in my life in perspective. I know if I don’t make different choices I am bound to have a similar situation with diabetes, etc.

So I am not calling it a diet but I am starting to count my calories. Thankfully there is this very easy to use calorie counter app on my phone. I can even scan the item and it will do all the work for me. With my weight I get close to 2500 calories a day, which isn’t bad at all. For me it is about taking baby steps. The bigger step I take, the more likely I will fall. So slow and steady wins the race. I am done with jumping!!!

Being an emotional eater is tough. So to change my habits at a time where I desperately need to eat my feelings away is very challenging. I keep trying to think about the consequences of a choice. Though there are times when my need to bury my feelings are so extreme that I barely can see or feel the consequence attached to the action!

I have ate so unhealthy for so many years that it has become a way of life for me. If it is healthy chances are I will not eat it, for example vegetables. The only vegetables that I will eat are green beans and sweet potatoes. I also like corn and potatoes but I know those are fake veggies! When ever I tell people my list of vegetables that I eat they always say well what about _______? Then I say what about ONLY do you not understand! 🙂 and NO, I do not like salads!

So that limits me on my choices and I am not quite at the point of my life where I can eat foods that I don’t like… I get that as well, why don’t you try them… For me it is working on the things I can like cutting out regular soda. Sure I know that diet soda isn’t good for me either but for the amount of regular soda I drink this is a better alternative. Eventually I will work on cutting out diet soda but there is a time and place for that. I am also working on including water into my diet. Lately I have been drinking these vitamin enhanced water beverages that my sister got, they are pretty good! The moral of the story is do what works for you. Set reasonable and small goals. I have to get healthier in layers or it will never stick.

Hopefully one day I can learn the art of moderation and will power but until then I will work on this.

Whenever I start to count my calories I am surprised with the amount of calories that are in some items. Eating out is at a minimum 1k calories, especially at fast food. Did you know that Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is 1200 calories, if you eat the whole box. KMC is one of my favorite meals. I like quick and easy, and it is just the right amount of cheese for me! Who knew that a bowl full of cheesey goodness was so many calories??? Eating a whole bowl is almost half of my allowed calories for the day.

Vegetables aren’t my only demon when it comes to my eating habits, as you can see by my mac and cheese choice… Pizza, fried food, bacon… OH MY!!! Pizza is my one downfall. I could live on pizza. Again it is about moderation. When I was at Little Caesars the other night I thought about getting a whole pizza but then I thought about all that leftover pizza. That was just too much temptation so I got a baby pan instead. When a slice of pepperoni pizza is around 300 calories a slice, having left overs is probably not a great choice for me right now.

I am trying to eat more healthy even though I still eat unhealthy things like french fries. I took a trip to the local grocery store to try to get some healthy food. I even pushed my cart into vegetable section. Granted I didn’t buy anything but still I looked… I need to incorporate fruit into my diet. I really like fruit but I tend to forget to eat it or it goes bad before I get to it. I love grapes.

The issue I currently have is with my depression. There are times I don’t feel like cooking an elaborate meal. I also forget to eat sometimes. The other day I had forgotten to eat. I found myself starving and over an hour away from home. Finding a place to get a bite to eat that was somewhat healthy became somewhat of a problem. I drove around and around… Eventually I caved and ate at McDonald’s .. Which is probably the worst place I could have chosen. I ended up getting a grilled chicken sandwich with a medium fry and a diet coke. I only ate half of my fry, talk about self control! Though I did have a cherry pie at 250 calories! 🙂 Even though I was well under my calorie limit for the day, I noticed feeling guilty for eating there. Mainly because when I eat fast food it takes away a big chunk of my calories and limits what I can eat for the rest of the day.

One thing I have learned about calorie counting is taking steps to make it easier for me to eat better. Like for example when I get grapes I try to bag them in serving sizes. By doing this it helps me when I am feeling down and don’t want to prepare something. This way I have something ready when I am hungry. I did the same thing with the chicken breasts I got this week. I also am trying to keep around snacks that are healthy, that I like. I notice if I don’t have anything available that is healthier I will break down and eat something unhealthy. So having healthy snacks around are going to be important for me.

Another goal of mine is to start becoming more active. I bowled two games last week and it about killed me. When it gets warmer out, I hope to start walking. Again I have to take baby steps. I have started to park further back when I go to stores. Anything will help, that is how I look at it. I am learning to push myself. I wanted to quit after the first game but I bowled another one. One of the things I use to love to do is going out dancing. There is no way I could dance in the shape I am in now but I will one day be able to.

Not only am I tackling becoming more physically healthy but I am also working on the emotional side to it as well. I am working hard to take better care of myself from the inside to out. I can’t wait for anyone to come rescue me. I have to do it!!!

I don’t have the luxury to wait anymore. The time is now to take better care of myself. Loving myself inside and out. I deserve it!!! I wouldn’t tolerate someone treating someone I loved this way, so why do I tolerate treating myself this way??? This may be new territory for me but it will keep at it until it sticks!

One breath will turn into a lifetime filled full of happiness, laughter and fulfillment. I guess it is all about balance. I am learning to build a strong foundation, one brick at a time. Turning my house into a home, inside my secret garden. A sanctuary that no one will be able to knock down.

Awareness is the seed (key) planted in my secret garden.

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