It's a long road, but I'm taking it one step at a time...

My Mini-Goal

8/08/10 to 8/31/10-to lose 6 lbs this month

Friday, May 28, 2010

Talking it out

So after working my darling husband and I sat around watching stuff on Netflix and we got to talking, and the conversation turned to food.

And he got very nervous and defensive and basically admitted he had a childish and immature attitude but he is only doing this because he knows he "has" to for me & the kids but really the way he feels he loves food and wants food and it makes him mad that the world comes between him and food and that's that.

And we got to talking about whether or not it is a healthy attitude that is going to help him or hurt him in the long run.

And he made the comparison of food, if you personify it, being like an abusive lover... you know, the kind of person you become obsessed with, want to be with every minute, feel totally possessive over, but really it's not a healthy attachment, and in the mean while you're like a prisoner to this lover because you can't go out and be free and do anything on your own, and this lover is just hurting you, putting you down and chipping away and sucking the life out of you, and you know it's bad for you but you can't help wanting to be with the lover, wishing this person would just change and treat you better and do better by you, but really it's never going to happen and deep down you know it but can't accept it.

And tears rolled down as I thought about how much of my life I'd wasted on food; how much this unhealthy obsession with this abusive lover has taken from me, held me back, prevented me from things I've loved and even prevented me from loving myself. Has reduced my self-worth and blown away my self-esteem and made a mockery of me until I was but a shadow of my former self.

And I realized that "breaking it off" is so hard, but necessary. And of course, having food every day is like living with your ex-lover trying to share an apartment. You have to learn to get along and cooperate but it is so hard sometimes not to have feelings, to be confused, jealous, desperate, lustful... but you know it's bad and you wish you could just walk away.

Again, I find myself thinking I wish I could just walk away from food. Put it behind me, say goodbye and move on with my life. But how to do that, how to do that when it has to be in my life every day.


Spell for the full moon: magical weight-loss surgery or the appetite binding. Both my husband and myself.

Tired tonight, It's almost 4 am. I think I'll just turn in. I feel drained; but in a good way.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Witchcraft Diet Spells - Think About It

I have done some sporadic research on the internet for diets and weight loss in relation to Witchcraft and spells. I have been looking for a bit of inspiration and ideas.

The fact is, I can't find a lot worth reading out there. What is the deal?

This is the kind of thing you find on the internet:

Diet Spells! My spells will work for you! Just pay me $1000 and I will cast a spell for you to give you the power for easy and healthy weight loss!

AMAZING MAGICKAL WEIGHT LOSS SPELLS: for just $49.95, we will create a spell for you and the pounds will just melt off!

White Magick Wiccan Spells to Help You Lose Weight Fast! $250! These are ancient incantations that have been passed down for generations and can't miss! You can eat whatever you want and no exercise required!

It is unbelievable that people (who I doubt are even Witches or know much about magic) are promising instant gratification and effortless results.

The Craft just doesn't work that way. The Craft involved knowledge and skill, it involved caring for your target (yourself, or who you are casting it for) and a personal connetion in my opinion that extends beyond a couple of e-mails. The Craft does not work if you don't give it a conduit, and it won't work if you are physically working against the magic you sent out into the universe.

I think my favorite are the "Ancient Wiccan Weight Loss Spells."

As if Wicca is an ancient religion.

As if ancient people who spent most of their lives trying not to starve to death over the winter had weight problems that created a demand for spells.

Some sure-fire ways to know  you are dealing with an ignorant con artist:
- They promise their spells will have fast, easy and amazing results
- They act like there will be no work, effort or discipline on your part
- The offer "money-back garauntees" or some kind of garauntee for their services
- They tell you they will send you spells, even if you tell them you have no magical training or experience
- They tell you their services are free or cheap, then shortly after contact you to warn you of some curse they found placed on you and your family and urge you to send them $200 for a candle and tell you something really bad will happen if you don't do this "curse-breaker" thing.

I guess it's no different from the other diet plans that promise fast & easy results, like diet pills or books or systems that you have to spend a lot of money on. With all these resources we have, how could anyone be fat?

If losing weight and keeping it off is so damn easy, how come weight-loss is a multi-million dollar industry, most fat people have tried almost every diet out there, and obesity is an ever-growing epidemic with the majority now being overweight?

Call me crazy, I just don't get it.

Fact is, diet aids & support & supplements or not; Witchcraft, magic & spells or not; no matter what, people need to resign themselves to 3 facts:
1) it's going to be hard no matter what you use
2) it's going to take time no matter how strict the diet or exercise or how powerful the pill
3) it's not over when you reach your goal weight

If you ever go on a weight loss support board, you see people pop in all the time with, "hey! I need to lose weight, quickly!" or "I have to go to a wedding next week, what can I do to lose weight fast?" These people are setting themselves up for failures-- they want fast & easy more than they want weight loss. I've been like that myself: it's too slow, if it's too hard, forget it. Now I look at myself and I wonder what would have happened if I just stuck to that "slow and hard" diet a bit better 10 years ago-- I wouldn't be sitting here typing this now, I'll tell you that. I'd have been done.

You also get the diet-hoppers (not making fun; I'm guilty of this). The people like me who went from one thing to the next, always following the trail of promises that eventually, this thing, will make me finally lick this problem.

The thing I have learned is that there is no diet, no spell, no pill, no weight-loss plan or center or book, etc., that can do this for you. Sure, choose the one that is to your preference, but Just about ANYTHING will work, if you work it. There is no secret that even for the most weight-loss resistant of us, basic biology teaches that you are going to lose weight if you just intake fewer calories and exercise more often. Put any person-- no matter what their situation (with the possible exception of being on steroids and completely immobile)-- on a desert island like Tom Hanks in Castaway, and they're going to lose weight from all the work and lack of food.  Take away the desert island, and now the person has choices. Same person, same weight problem, only now they can chose to not exercise, now they can choose to eat more rather than less. Now they are an environment with temptations that can lead to even small failures, which if too many occur build up to one big failure to lose.

The problem is not that the diet failed, or the program failed, or the plan failed, or the company failed... I even know a few people who had weight loss surgery and within a few years started gaining the weight back! Heck, I knew one woman who did everything from getting injected with the urine of pregnant woman to not eating until she passed out. She was only 70 lbs overweight and needed to be 100 lbs overweight before her doctor (and insurance) would consider weight loss surgery-- so she began eating like a pig to gain weight so she could get surgery! This friend did just about everything-- except stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan for more than a couple of months. Really, without the very basic element-- stick-to-it-ness-- it's all for naught, isn't it?

The problem is almost always that you (that I) failed to stick to it. Maybe it was not measuring and reading labels carefully enough, maybe sneaking too many spoonfuls when we cook or clear the kids plates off the table, maybe skipping the gym too much... but plans/diets don't work for people if they're going to give up because it's hard and taking too long. It's kind of an endurance thing... one step at a time, sure, but keep taking those steps or just forget it.

Losing weight is really not hard when you think about it; it is actually inevitable under the right situation. What's hard is sticking with that situation for the long term so it can happen. 

Or maybe I ought to just forget all this and start looking for that desert island.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Magical Weight Loss Surgery

I think the negativity is subsiding. I'm relaxing and getting into a more positive state of mind now. I also saw my daughter, who has been out of touch for a while when busy and I was getting very worried about her, and I took her shopping-- so that cheered me up a bit. She's going to come by next (not this coming but next) weekend and I'm going to have a little barbecue with friends & family who haven't seen her.

And my husband is also displaying a positive attitude so that helps to keep me strong. I didn't even bother to meditate or anything but he gave me a little rub down and that always seems to just help me find balance within myself.

I am working on a spell for both of us for Friday night (Full Moon). It is a binding spell-- binding spells are used to restrain people, usually people who are likely to hurt someone (or themselves). It's a form of sympathetic magic (when an object represents a person, like voodoo dolls). I'm doing it so it'll be reversable in case we don't like the results.  Binding spells are an ancient form of magic, really... they've been used for binding everything from enemies to unfaithful/abusive lovers to business rivals. You can bind the person entirely, or you can bind a certain behavior.

In the case of our spell, I'm binding our appetites and hunger. Binding our stomachs.  In a way, it's kind of like magical weight loss surgery.

I've also got my Cunningham magical diet aid bath bundles-- 14 of them, which are from his book Incense, Oils & Brews. I am supposed to start those twice a day a couple of days after the full moon for 2 weeks.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why Can't They..?

Did a 3-card Tarot spread today to try and see what I need to do... looks like I'm just going to have to deal with this internal strife, and the setbacks it causes, until it wears off. I gotta get through my funk, basically.

After a long, hard night I feel a little better off-- calmer, but still upset. The torrent of cravings unleashed by this unintentional indulgence has left me feeling hopeless and futile. I'm even trying to occasionally push out of my head the "why bother? Can't you see it's futile, nothing will ever work?" thoughts out of my mind.

I was trying to talk to my husband today of how defeated and frustrated I feel... I know it's not really fair to torture some guys with these sessions of turning over and examining and complaining about feelings-- his response is very much the male-brain response: you  didn't do it on purpose; can't change it. Just move on. And I admire men for being able to let go... but I have the female mind.

I am one of those people who firmly believes there is much more of a difference between genders than just genitals. The male mind and the female mind just work differently. Neither is better; men have their advantages and women have their advantages... it's just different processing (and I do believe that people can be male and have a female mind and female but have a male mind-- so really genitals have nothing to do with it; it's more of a yin/yang thing).

Anyway... yes, he is able to put it in perspective and get past it. Maybe that's because for him it's only been a few days anyway, and for me I feel like I have been battling much longer so much more has been destroyed. Maybe it's just a cursed hormonal imbalance thing. But yeah, it's not so easy to let go.

So I was trying to explain to him how it's so frustrating to have the cravings and feel like you are at the mercy of your object of obsession.

And he heard it as, "It is very unfortunate that I can't eat what I want when I want it; I wish I could."

But that is not what I meant... what I meant was the addiction part sucks big time. It's not so much that I wish I could eat anything whenever... it's that I wish I could take or leave food the way some people do. The way I could take or leave a beer without really caring. The way I can go to Vegas, sit down at a slot machine, throw in a few quarters, and, win or lose, walk away bored to look at something else. I'm sure there are alcoholics and compulsive gamblers who wish they could do that and have no clue how I can... that's how I feel about eating.

If medical science really wanted to do the fat person a favor, they'd forget about developing these surgeries that allow us to eat tiny portions, or these pills that are supposed to want to make us eat less. They'd come up with an injection or a pill or something to give us complete nourishment so we can get food out of our lives forever. So I never had to shop, never had to stop and stock the fridge and cabinets, never had to spend several times a day wondering what to eat. I would not have to spend several times a day giving into my addiction only slightly, then pulling myself back from it and stopping short of going overboard. Food would just be one of those things I kicked, something I don't do anymore, like when people give up television and just give away the set, or when they give up smoking and they just stop buying ciggs and air out the house.

I don't want food to have that power over me anymore, but it is sooooo ingrained in me that I don't know if I can ever permanently overcome it. Last night was a real shake-up as that realization hit me in the face like a slap. Losing weight is not something I can just do and be done with-- food addiction is going to be a life-long battle. It's going to be there with me, every day, where ever I happen to go.  And no drugs or therapy or surgery or diet or even spell will ever likely remove that from my life, at least not permanently. Basically all of these alternatives in my arsenal to fight it are, at best, going to keep it at bay, but I don't think that I'll ever really win.

And by win, I don't mean losing weight; yes, I do believe I can win that particular battle and take the weight off... but the problem is that the fighting to do it and keep it off will never stop. The food addition will go on. I will never be able to really rest, I will always have to be vigilant, always have to be ready to spring into action, always have to be prepared to suffer blows and even minor defeats and just keep picking up and keep fighting.

That, more than just losing the pounds, is the thought that truly wearies me-- that it's never eneding.

I was reading another blog that said you have more chances to survive cancer than take off and keep off weight... and it is a sad but true fact. (and then people say, "just eat less," or "just make up your mind," and no wonder I want to punch them, because it'd be like telling a cancer patient, "just heal.").

And the thing is that I know that if I lose the psych, if I lose the mental battle, the rest is all shot to hell. And that is scary because that means a lot is riding on emotion and attitude and those things fluctuate so much and there are so many things that can influence them.

So I am back to thinking about the "hating food" spell.

And I have one more idea up my sleeve for this full moon, but this post is getting so long I think I will think more on it and get to it tomorrow.

In the mean time, I am hanging in there.

Boy I really wish there were people to talk to here, reading and responding;... it's hard to talk to friends, as most of my friends do not have weight problems like I do, and some things are just embarrassing, it's so much easier to with the writing and the anonymity. If anyone ever stumbles across my ramblings and manages just to get through them, please give even a  minor shout-out so I won't feel so alone?

Now I'm Pissed

You know, it's been hard at times, it's not always easy, but I've hung in there and I've been doing good. I have stuck to eating fair and reasonable... and I have managed to stay away from my "trigger" foods.

Trigger foods-- have I explained them? I'm not sure if it is a technical term, but trigger foods are what I call foods that trigger the binges (or at least the desire to binge).  Many of mine are carbs... for instance, I can't stop eating mashed potatoes once I start. I will stand there and lick the damn pot and spoon clean, and I can't stop thinking about food after I eat mashed potatoes.

One of my trigger foods is soda; not diet soda so much as I don't like it that much, but full-sugar soda. Pepsi in particular.

So my dear husband who is out of work right now as you may know if you (if anyone on the planet) reads this... so he fixed dinner tonight as I was working. And he wanted to have soda with dinner, so he went out with the intention to buy diet soda, but picked up regular and never bothered to check.

Well, I'm out of regular bottled water, tap water here tastes horrible and I can barely choke it down. And I've been drinking Crystal Lite with dinner for months, so the idea of some diet soda was really nice-- a change, and not going off track. Lovely.

So he poured me some soda and I worked as I ate and I gulped it down. I wasn't paying attention it was just such a nice change... so I poured some more. Something I don't usually do with diet drinks at all. And as I'm gulping down big cup #2, and I stop because I realize--- I want to just take the bottle and guzzle it like water and throw in some Doritos. Or ice cream. And have a cigarette. And I'm wondering why these thoughts are stirring up now right now, when 5 minutes ago my mind was completely engrossed in research about citronella oil and I was totally satisfied with my baked chicken and big veggie salad (seriously, it was so good). And I lick my lips and realize, "oh no-- it tastes too sweet; it's too good-- no aftertaste!"

And sure enough, I check the bottle and it's regular freaking soda.

And I am so angry (not so much at him, it was an honest mistake, though considering he drank like 2 cups before I touched the stuff you'd think he might have noticed first!).

I'm angry because now I am craving chips and sweets and cigarrettes. I'm angry because I never intended to "cheat" and now I wasted a lot of perfectly good calories and carbs on something I would have just as soon as done without. I mean, I had planned a nice little snack planned and now I can't even eat it in good faith because of this overindulgence on sugar water.

I'm mad because I feel like it's taken me off track a bit and it wasn't even my fault! I mean, if I fell of the wagon, I can only blame myself... but this! Ugh!

Well, I'm a bit calmer now than I actually was after dinner, I was in some PMS-induced bitching fest, and my husband tried to help me relax by doing an energy cleansing on me, and it did work for a while and I calmed down and got on with my night, but now as I sit here reflecting on it I feel the anger at the situation just flairing up again a bit.

I am just praying and meditating tonight in all hopes that these cravings will disappate as I sleep because I'm sitting here wanting to cry.

And some sneaky freaking part of my brain all night has been like, "go ahead, you already blew it today! Go run out and get some snacks! Hit some drive throughs! Go wild tonight! You have to get back on the wagon tomorrow anyway, but might as well not waste tonight!"

And as tempting as it sounds, as much as the thought of turning it down makes me want to cry, I just simpy refuse to give into these compulsive thoughts of an addict. NO! I WILL remain in control of myself, this is not going to mess up my body, really, mainly my head, but I will NOT let it beat me and defeat me all because of some dumb careless mistake!!! Drinking the soda was unfortunate, but I am not going to use it as an excuse to do the things that I know will eventually end up killing me years before my time.

I WILL get over this.

Damn I HATE being addicted like this to freaking food! It has ruled my life long enough! It has changed my life and bought down the quality of life and probably already sucked years-- maybe decades-- of my life away! And I let it! Like a total asshole, I just allowed it to happen! Oh, I fought it, but not enough, and took too much guilty pleasure in my unhealthy addiction when I did fall in to it...  Damn it, I'm not going to let it keep doing this to me!!! It's not going to beat me!!!

And people say, "Oh, just eat less..." when that has probably been one of the hardest things to do in my life. WHY DON'T THEY JUST GET IT??? Next time they feel like crying and toss and turn all night and shake and want to pull their hair out of their head because they can't have Doritos, then they can tell me how freaking to "just eat less" ALL the time when I feel like this. Let them tell me something useful, like how NOT to feel like this when I "just eat less" and then, maybe THEN, I can actually use their advice.

It's just not fair I feel this way now. I was being good and careful. I don't know or care if it is psychological or physiological or biological... all I know is this is how I feel and I can't stand it.

I think I am going to go burn a candle at my altar and ask the Goddess to just wrap her arms around me and pour into me the strength and determination I need to get through this episode quickly. Why, oh why oh why, is this so hard sometimes?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Frustrating period... ugh

It's starting to get tiring. Not being able to just reach for that bag of cookies for breakfast or chips while I'm working, or just go through that drive through. Always trying to make time to prepare something wholesome and healthful.

Not to mention, my period is late so the bloating/pmsing is just being prolonged (no, not pregnant, not possible, we've had that fixed).

I wonder if I'm going through menopause? Today I kept getting HOT. Like the SWEATS. When the AC was on. And I kept asking, "Is it me, or is it hot in here," and they kept telling me, "It's you!" In a way it would be nice to get it over with, but of course in another way I just worry for what I'm in for.

My husband is getting a little antsy, too, after the first few days, and already is like, "I miss my old habits."

I know what he means. As the full moon approaches we plan to do something together. We need it.

The meditation/affirmation for the day is: it will be worth it when you feel better; you'll get used to it and the trade-off will be worth it.

I guess I'm just not feeling it now because I am SO bloated I feel like I'm gaining weight even though I've been eating well. I am at "a wall" with weight loss... when the scale is just not going down... which I know is my body just clamping down and getting used to it and changing and when it breaks through it will be a new plateau.

Maybe tomorrow I will do some kind of mad exercise to try and jumpstart things again.

Then again, I have so much cleaning and lots of WORK to do, exercise is going to be difficult to squeeze into the schedule. We'll see.

I have to admit, the Witchcraft has been making it easier than it's been in the past-- like it can temporarily alleviate some of the stress and make it better to cope with-- but by no means are spells making it simple or instant gratification. All those websites that try to sell you spells for fast and easy weight loss-- they lie. Nothing makes it fast and easy; it's hard, and you have to be in it for the long haul and let it take it's course. That's just a fact that the sooner we learn to live with, the better off we'll be.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

There is always a sacrifice, isn't there?

My Goddess, is it Saturday already? Wow, that week seemed to go wooshing by. I've been busy painting my craft cabinet and working and doing some homeschooling projects with the kids; the weather is getting warmer so we're going out less already and thus begins hibernation season soon here on the lower Gulf Coast.

Can you believe it? Ben is snoring (the dog, not the founding father). He's laying on the sofa, snoring. That dog usually has two speeds: zero and sixty.

Ah, here are some pics of him in case anyone is actually bothering to ever read this thing here:

So anyway, my dearest darling husband, whose intentions I so bitterly questioned, has been doing wonderfully for the first few days on his new road to better health. He has more resolve and determination for this than I have ever seen him have in regards to food. I don't know why everyone makes fun of 40; seems to me it's a prime time for a rebirth.

We did have a talk, and I had a bit of an ephiphany (or maybe, just a long-brewing revelation).

Everything requires a sacrifice. You eat right, sacrificing the bad habits and much of the food you loved, or you eat the way you like, sacrificing your health, quality of life, and possibly years of your life. You low-carb and sacrifice your potatoes and white bread, or you do the balanced diet thing and get your bread, but sacrifice in portion size. You exercise and sacrifice some time for more quality of life and health; or you don't exercise and you sacrifice your body, making it harder to do many things and feeling lousey in general.

There is no easy answer, there is no perfect solution; you just can't have your cake and cookies, too. There is always something that is like the payment, and it always comes due. No matter what, there is no getting around it, in the vast majority of cases you are going to pay for those choices.

Of course I knew that, I'm Wiccan; this is a core tenet of my faith-- consequences and rewards based on all your actions and inactions. I apply it to so many areas of my life, but tonight for some reason I feel as though it is a new lesson.

We have also discussed him going back to school for a while to learn a more marketable trade for a career change. He usually works at crappy cubicle jobs and doesn't like it much; he's gotten into doing some commercial cleaning on the side and he likes working with his hands better. There is a tech school here and in like 9 months he can get a certification to be a plumber (not sure exactly what kind of certification one would need).

It would be a rough year-- I would have to work more, and with his little side jobs, if we were careful and cut out any luxuries like Disney (sigh!) I think we can pull through. I say if it'll make him happy, that's the most important thing.

We have realized a long time ago that we are never likely to be high income-- me with my main talents being all artsy and craftsy, ever the starving artist, and wanting me to only work part time so I can focus on the youngin's. Him with his problems, from self esteem to self confidence, from no formal education or marketable skills, going from one crap job to another and having to work hard at them to put bread on the table and the roof over the head to really have time to do anything else. Low income kind of seemed inevitable, you know? But steady-- honest, work-- definitely doable. I mean, we could have done it differently-- school & daycare for the kids, 9-to-5 for me-- but it just wasn't what we wanted. But as long as we are careful and budget minded, buckle down when necessary, we always find we manage, and have a few little extras. Who knows-- maybe some day I will actually sell a novel or a painting for a significant amount, or maybe he will become some great plumber-in-demand. But overall, money doesn't buy happiness. As long as you've got tne necessities, you then have to choose your priorities, and we have decided how we want to live.

No matter what you do, you're sacrificing something, right? The trick is to make sure what you are gaining is worth it. Sometimes going for the instant gratification seems like a good deal; however you really have to think about how you'll have to pay later.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Here's a Little Thing I Do...

I love to cook with herbs. Even making something simple, like a sandwich, I will put herbs on it, or I'll add herbs to a salad dressing.

I have a stock of dried herbs on my kitchen shelf, but mostly I love to use fresh herbs, and since I live in a sub-tropical climate in a zone 9b, my little container herb garden out on my porch is virtually always blooming. I have one of the best units in my complex; I'm on the end, facing the retaining wall and a residential street, and get perfect southern exposure. Check out one corner of my garden:

Anyway, I charge the herbs before using them, the same way you would charge them when you are using them for a spell. I charge them according to each one's individual energy, such as sage is long known for it's powers of longevity, so if I put sage in my eggs or on my chicken, I charge it to give people who partake of it long life. Basil is a prime love herb, so I charge it to help those who eat my pesto to love themselves better.

I'm careful not to charge things everyone else is eating with specific things for me; for example, I wouldn't charge an herb with weight-loss properties if I have my stringbean-built friend over for dinner.

Speaking of herbs, I am making some pouches of that twice a day magical diet bath from Scott Cunningham's book, Incense, Oils and Brews. Two baths a day is going to run my bill up a bit, but it will be worth it. I will be making them as soon as I'm finished painting my armoire.

Talk about exercise-- I have a giant computer armoire I use for crafts, I call it my "craft studio," and moving it and painting it top to bottom, inside-and-out, decorating with stencils and all-- I started it yesterday and it's given me quite a workout. I still need to formualte a regular exercise routine, but things like this are certainly a great calorie burning bonus.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Being a little Bad to stay Good.

Hey, I found another blog about a woman utilizing her skills and training in Witchcraft to lose weight... I love reading other people's stories & experiences for inspiration. It's so cool to know you're not alone when you feel a task that feels monumental. I hope I find more to follow, usually when I look all I can find are people selling weight-loss spells.

Husband report: he had a rocky start for a couple of days; he was sneaking food. Then he admitted it (to us and himself) and resolved to start fresh and do better. He seems more self-motivated this time and I am more confident that this time he will do well. It's all in the attitude.

Which brings me to the question on my mind today, one we discussed as we curled up on the couch and watched some movies last night: Scheduling a cheat night-- self-defeating or pro-active?

It's almost impossible to never have a case of over-indulgance, right? No matter what you're dealing with in life, once in a while, you have to give yourself some slack. If you're a strict budgeter and saver, you have to splurge sometimes and treat yourself. If you're a workaholic, you have to take some time off occasionally. If you're trying to eat healthy, is it healthy to loosen up sometimes and just enjoy food the way you want?

The thing is, food is an addiction. I have compared it to being a drug addict or alcoholic before. Of course, if you have a substance abuse problem, you shouldn't indulge occasionally, you should stay away. You should even avoid situations where you might be tempted, such as old buddies still addicted or bars you used to frequent.

On the other hand, as a food addict, you can't ever quit your habit. You can't just walk away and avoid it, you have to learn to control it where ever you go. You can't just walk away from the people you shared your habit with– I’d have to get divorced and disown my mother! So since, unlike other additions, you have to learn to live with moderation, should that moderation include an occasional "break"?

“Cheating” can sometimes be detrimental to a diet, depending upon the extent. Sometimes a little cheating can trigger a domino effect: a little more and a little more until you are out of control. Sometimes cheating ends up being one great big binge, you go on a total bender. That’s because it is born out of a moment of weakness and utter desperation; and once you get going on it, you feel so depressed and that you have utterly failed, which makes it harder to stop and get back on track.

But I firmly believe the key is not in deprivation, but in moderation. Seems to me that if you eat healthy 90% to 95% of the time, you're doing good, that 5% to 10% of the time you give in a little will barely slow you down.

My husband and I were discussing whether outright planning a “cheat night” would help you from going completely overboard, because it is not born out of a moment of absolute weakness, but undertaken when you are still in control of what you eat and how you feel. It would also eliminate the feelings of guilt and defeat and frustration, since part of the plan is the cheat ending at a certain time. Instead of giving in to what is available, it would be more satisfying, because you could think it out and go get something very, very satisfying, guilt-free, single-serving, to totally indulge in, and then back on the wagon the next morning.

My fear would be that this is a cop-out, some kind of psychological manipulation from my subconscious, the little “devil” on my shoulder whispering into my ear and tempting me to do these things that he knows that carnal part of my brain really wants to do.

But I have gotten through PMS again this month and remained strong so it's not like I'm just looking for excuses to chow down. As I have mentioned before, I have long sensed that, eventually, I will look for a splurge. And I really fear that, if it is an act of desperation at a time of weakness, it will be excessive and may be hard to get over.

So would it be better if it is an occasional planned, controlled indulgence, to sort of a "nip it in the bud?" A libation to appease this sleeping monster somewhere in my brain, that surely will continue to awaken sporadically throughout my life? Is it better to be ready to toss it a tasty morsel occasionally, to rest from fighting it, to replenish my strength for fighting it on other days?

Would making a cheat night a once or twice monthly thing be comforting and help lend strength rather than weaken my resolve? When I do begin to feel weaker, will it be the knot at the end of my rope to tell myself, “Hang on; “cheat night” is coming in 3 days.” I retain the upper hand, I retain the control, it is not giving up or giving in, it is a calculated decision and I am not weak nor failing if I am still in control, right?

It's as if my appetite for food is this childish entity, and I have been like one of those "Super Nanny" parents who have been hopeless with the kid. When dealing with kids (I have a lot of experience and background in this area), you have to keep control and consistent discipline, but sometimes you still have to use your head, tbe lenient, make some occasional treats and allowances... could this be the same thing?

And if we scheduled a cheat night, what bit o’ magic can I devise to help it be a pleasant, yet finite, moment in time? I think I have some ideas, which I will have to get to later.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The moment

So Ben (the dog, not the founding father) and I went on a 2 1/2 mile leisurely walk today.

Sometimes a good, long walk is a type of meditation. I don't necessarily clear my mind, but it's like a slipstream of the subconscious, just allowing the thoughts to flow by and just go with it.

We went walking along side the canals watching the ducks, looking at houses and imagining what I'd do with the garden or how I'd decorate the porch if it were mine, stopping at the fruit stand for some fresh lemons.

And I got to thinking how I wasn't hungry when I was walking around, or when I was at Disney, or when I was younger if I were out dancing or running around Central Park, the Museum of Natural History, the Bronx Zoo or the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (some of my absolute favorite spots in the entire world).

And how I don't get hungry when I'm doing something artistic, or when I'm really into my work, or reading a great novel or watching an interesting movie.

I get hungry (or at least, want to eat) when I am unhappy, bored, too tired to do anything interesting, or want to mentally and emotionally take a vacation from a situation.

And I got to thinking about living in the moment; when you find something interesting-- engaging-- about the moment, food returns to being something for later, pure sustenance with little other meaning.

And I got to thinking that maybe that's been part of my problem. I worked doing things I wasn't that thrilled about doing, boring and frustrating tasks, or I worried about the kids (and I don't mean spending time with them; that's nice-- I'm talking about the fussing that mothers have to do about cleaning rooms and folding laundry and making balanced meals and overseeing chores and such), or I worried about the house and getting it in order and about my husband or my mother or my committees at church or homeschooling co-ops, and I realized something:

- I spent a lot of time not taking any time for me
- when I did take time for me, I was so bored, or sick or laid up from my accident or depressed, so I didn't appreciate it, I just sort of wasted it... layed around like a lump feeling sorry for myself.

I didn't sieze the moment and make it mine; I just sort of muttled through them thinking about other things I did, or had to do, or needed to do that I couldn't figure out how to do.

Joseph Campbell is right when he says follow your bliss, and I think I would have been happier and would have spent less time getting fat if I had lived more in the moment, absorbed in what was happening rather than my head being somewhere else. Because in the moment I generally don't think about food much; food is something I reached for to escape the moment, to avoid using it for anything else productive.

I've started taking lemon (or 1/2 lemon squeezed into) hot water every morning. No sugar, no tea. I read somewhere it was good when trying to lose weight, that it acted like an astringent or something on your stomach. I don't know the science behind that. I do know that lemons (planet: moon; element: water;) have the powers of purification and longevity. I'm finding that they are more energizing than coffee.

I used to wake up and stumble to the kitchen for coffee, barely awake enough to make it, and sit there trying to wake up and get into my day. I'm trying something knew; I have my lemon water and wake up, do my devotionals then sit down to work and have my coffee then... and at that point, I'm already refreshed and enjoy the coffee on a different level and I'm ready to plan my day out, check e-mails, and get the kids started schooling.

I should enchant them like I did the grapefruit, shouldn't I?

And note to self: I keep talking about it, but have yet to get into a regular exercise routine. I realize that in trying to get healthy, this is going to be absolutely necessary. I'm not so much lazy as I don't like hard-core exercise, and when I plan to do physical things I enjoy more often I always let other things get in the way. I need to establish a routine.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I am such a bitch

I am PMSing and cranky and I realize thinking on my post yesterday (which made me cringe to even think about re-reading it) that I am being entirely too hard on my husband. He did great today, and he is trying, even though it is so hard for him. Not that everything I said is untrue, most of it he readily admits, but who am I to judge his intentions? Or his ability to succeed when he's just begun the journey?

I am a terrible person sometimes. Especially when PMSing.

Anyway, I hung in there today, but had my moments when I had to grab my mojo bag pretty tightly. And I am all bloated. I hate that.

Anyway, my darling men are painting my living room tomorrow. And I'm hoping to tackle my boy's room, particularly their closet.

If I'm not back in 2 days, please call the FBI, they may have to work pretty hard but I'm confident that they'll find me. I'd leave a trail of breadcrumbs but I don't know what might eat them.

Tomorrow is Monday... Mar's day, and as soon as I wake I will be meditating for him to help me fight the good fight.

Meanwhile, Ben says:

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.

I am, Ben... I am, I am... and in another week when the hormonal floods have receded, I will be doing even better at it.

What am I sweating? I can beat this... discipline is key; attitude is everything else. I'm stronger than food. It's just sustenence, it's not life, right? There are so many better things to live for-- my kids; my garden; art; Disney... who needs food?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Family Affair

I really have no right to bitch and moan, because life has overall been good to me. However, I feel I must get this off my chest.

I don't mind my period so much, but the week before, the PMS, with all the mood swings and bloating and cravings of salty/sweet, the runs and cramps-- that, I can do without. Ever since I had my last child and we decided we were done having children, and I had a tubal to ensure it, I have prayed for early menopause-- I know it's no picnic either, but it'll be nice to have it over and done with.

Anyway... on to the interesting events that have unfolded in the last couple of days.

Apparently my boys (9 & 11) have noticed my efforts, and hugged and congratulated me for succeeding, and encouraged me on.

And apparently, my older son is very worried about his dad, who is not only as overweight as I am, but is also diabetic and lives in complete denial of it. And a bit of crying and hugging his dad, and he convinced my husband to join me on the bandwagon.

My beautiful boys have even volunteered to eat healthier with us (not diet; just eat more veggies and less junk and get more exercise), so that we can all learn to have better habits and keep the temptations out of the house, bless them. 

My husband is ambivalent, I must admit. On some level I am sure he realizes he desperately needs to do this. He is 40 and has diabetes for at least the last 8 years that we know of, and completely ignores it. He likes to pretend he doesn't have it because it is not immediately effecting him. Heart disease runs in his family, and his older brother died at about 42 of his 2nd heart attack.

But he loves to live in denial, and unfortunately he has such a great imagination and attention problems, and I guess has had such a hard childhood, that he's gotten quite good at burying his head in the sand and pretending things can't really hurt him if he doesn't acknowledge them. He's too good for his own good.

To his disadvantage in this particular life issue, he hates challenges. Unlike me-- I who am always seeking the next wall to slam my head on and am as stubborn as a pit bull-- always wishing I could reach and master the next level of growth and the next stage towards some kind of enlightenment and control-- he is happy to drift along and go with the flow. He doesn't want the hard road, and he doesn't want to do anything that is going to require effort and sacrifice.

Now don't get me wrong; I have learned a lot from his happy-go-lucky attitude than can help me; I hate to admit it, but in a lot of ways, even though I am so artsy fartsy in some ways, in other ways I can be a total Type A personality. He is the yin to my overactive yang.

But, as balance is best in all things, he can really take a lesson or two from me if he had the drive to want to really drive the lesson home-- sometimes it is simply necessary-- and rewarding even-- to push yourself to your very limits of sanity and endurance and tolerance.

Food is a touchy area especially for him. He had a really bad family life in a really bad neighborhood in a lot of ways, spent half of his childhood raised in a state group home because he was abandoned. Food is his first love, it's is best friend, it's his reward and his comfort and the warm, fuzzy blanket he pulls over himself to shield himself from the world and block out what he doesn't want to deal with. He wants what he wants when he wants it.

If you held out all the food he loves in one hand, and 20 years of his life in the other hand, and said he could only have one or the other and had to choose, I honestly believe he would have to think about it.

He has always been overweight, so he doesn't have the memories of I do of those glorious days of youth, when I was beautiful and thin and caught eyes and could dance the night away if I wanted to, or run around for 10 hours in the zoo with unyielding energy and enthusiasm, barely losing my breath. To him, being thinner (even if not totally thin), having more energy, feeling better after weight loss, is viewed somewhat as some people view space aliens and bigfoot-- with a healthy dose of  "I want to believe it exists, but I just don't think I buy it." He's not very good at looking to the long-term, or really grasping future goals... he is content to dream about the future and live in the moment for the most part, and probably wishes he could just live like that, day to day, doing whatever he wants at any given moment, without ever really considering the future.

Whereas me, sometimes I look to the future so much I have to stop and remind myself that I'm wasting too much of the present doing it, and have to force myself to stop and smell the roses.

As you can see we are a good match in a lot of ways... but back to his weight problem.

He says he's willing, and I think in some ways he would like to see it happen, I just don't know that he is prepared to make the sacrifices or fight to win the challenges. And if his heart isn't in it, he's not going to last.

We just think differently. I think "I want this; what do I need to do to get it?" and I will then fight for it, even if I lose. He thinks, "I want this; it would be nice if it happened." he never considers that he could put the effort in to bring himself to the goal... because really, while things would be nice to have, not making efforts to him in the long run would be nicer.

Don't get me wrong-- he's not a lazy bum; he'll give lots of help around the house and work and all and does the responsible thing to ensure we have what we need. He just likes to spend too much time enjoying life-- being with family, having fun, playing, a little like the inner child in him tries to take over a bit too much. So when it gets to beyond necessities, a lot of time his attitude is, "why bother? That will be too long from now. I want to enjoy now." It's almost like he would rather enjoy now a little more than later a whole lot. Inability to really see long-term goals coming to fruition I guess, being too engrossed in the now, leads to low motivation.

For a couple of days he's been trying but I get the sense his heart isn't in it, he just feels deprived and unhappy.  And instead of telling himself, "I can do this, it will be better," he's probably telling himself, "this isn't fair; why should I have to suffer and sacrifice?" I hope he hangs in there, but I have a hard time believing he will until I see some spark from him-- some indication that he is motivated.

To top it off, he doesn't practice Witchcraft... so I would have to design and cast spells on him to deal with his problems. And as for things like taking time out of his day for meditation or positive affirmations and such-- well, let's just say it's unlikely as he has no interests in such things. Maybe he will be open to letting me cast a spell on him for motivation. But with his worries about finding work I just don't know he will find the motivation for weight loss-- if I know him, he's going to somehow convince himself that he deserves to be happy with food because other things are so difficult right now.

At least he quit smoking-- that was a huge step for him and I know it was very hard; I'd given up trying to get him to consider it, but this time-- mainly because of the rising cost of ciggarettes-- he finally got determined on his own. That's what made the difference and I am so proud of him. I hope that kicks in with weight-loss too.


Friday, May 14, 2010

ch-ch-changes... (sigh) yeah.

you put one foot in front of the other
and soon you'll be walking 'cross the floor
put one foot in front of the other
and soon you are walking out the door...

Maybe I'm just tired from running around theme parks for four days, but at this point it started to feel like there is just an endless stream of changes. Changes that are good for me, or not so good for me, but mostly changes that I don't necessarily want, changes that I wish weren't necessary. 

Food used to be a constant I could count on to make me feel better at times like this (well, momentarily, of course in the long run it caused more problems). I could always look forward to that sweet chocolate reward, or a good cup of coffee with half & half and sugar, or several slices of pizza at the end of a rough day when I didn't want to cook.

Can't do that anymore... as you know (if you've been reading- that is, if anyone, anywhere is out there reading this, which is both scary and comforting at the same time), I've been trying to use my artwork as my constant-- my rock-- so I don't turn to food so much. But things have me spiraling a bit these days and I realize it feels like it's harder and takes more effort to try and fit artwork into my life, whereas food was just fast, easy and convenient. Food I could sit around and eat while I worked, or when I was too tired to move. Art, well, I need to drop everything else and I need to have energy for because I get engulfed in it.

I'm tired. Sometimes I just wish I could just... take a break. Put it on pause and do what I want, what I feel like, without worrying about consequences. So I sat, after eating a big salad and a chicken hot dog for dinner (bunless, as we only had white flour bread), and trying to get used to black coffee without all the cream and sweeteners, tired with no time or energy for even sketching, trying to work late, without any gratuitous munchies, and I found myself thinking, "Damn. This sucks."

So I stopped a moment and meditated on this. I realized it is all the little changes that I don't want are going to mount up to the bigger changes that I so desperately do want. And that is the sight that I have to keep in the front of my mind so I can stop psyching myself out with these little pity parties. 

So, it being a new moon with the moon in Taurus on a Thursday, and I decided it was a good time for a spontaneous working for strength. I broke out some herbs and ground them up in the mortar and pestle, took it with my censer and a charcoal briquette out to the porch and had a seat  near my herbs. I invoked Artemis and blessed the incense in Her name, asking Her to empower it with Her strength and steadfastness. Then burned it and stepped over the censer, allowing the smoke to strengthen me and carry my weakness away.

And I feel better... still tired but realizing I am on the right course, and sacrifices are always necessary in life. I have the choice of sacrificing my health for the food I want, or sacrificing the food for the health-- including the years of life-- I want. And when you put those on the scales, guess which side comes crashing down?

Thanks, Artemis.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Checking In

After spending the last 4 days running around theme parks, and just getting home near midnight, I sit here before the computer, ready to report to you that I am tired yet satisfied. I managed to hold onto my myself during the vacation; I did have a few spoonfuls of ice cream out of my husband's cup, and I savored it, but otherwise did not over-indulge. I ate mostly salads, in fact, and some lean meats like steak and grilled salmon, some fruit for snacks, diet soda and lots of water, and kept bad carbs (the unhealthywhite flour life-sucking empty calorie butter and high fructose corn syrup filled kind of carbs, that is) at bay.

At some times it was a bit tempting... even now I am craving chocolate. And I know I could have-- should have-- stayed a bit more hydrated than I did, but nothing I can do about that now but finish my cold glass of water before going to bed. I guess that this is what life is like, though, as an addict... temptation is always just under the surface or just around the corner. I just wish there was somewhere you could go to really get away from food.

But I did do lots of walking... lots and lots of walking... it got a bit slow-going in the end, but still walking (or at least standing) for most of the day nonetheless. I wish I had one of those little pedometers to see how many miles I walk at a day in Disney.

I can barely see the screen through my bleary eyes, all the yawning causing them to tear, and I just came on to check on some work, and thought I'd check in. I checked, now I go sleepy.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Taking a Vacation

I am going away for a few days to immerse myself in a different kind of magic...

...a magical world where I can fly on a carpet or spin in a teacup...

...a land of adventure and danger where I can raft the white river rapids of Asia, and in the process might be chased by a dinosaur, or a yeti...

...and I shall cavort with fairies and pirates and jedis and evil villains and furry forest creatures and giant-sized toys...

...I can go back in the past and watch the Beatles play in a quaint British courtyard, or travel to the future and play the technology that we will be taking for granted tomorrow...

Yes, I am on my way to Disney World, and I'm not going to really worry about casting spells or dieting, except to keep my mojo bag handy, do my daily meditations on my private balcony in the sun or at night in the jacuzzi, and I am going to be careful about my food consumption and choices. I'm arming myself with healthy, yummy snacks such as almonds and carrot sticks and popcorn (no butter-- never did like butter!) and Crystal Lite drink mixes.

And with all the exercise of walking from country to country, from the past to the future, with all of the smiling and belly laughing and dancing in parades and swimming and waiting on line and holding onto my hat while blasting off or spinning round, I am sure I will come back much lighter-- lighter of the mind, lighter of the heart, lighter of the spirit, and definitely lighter of the physical body.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

And so it goes...

The cravings; tonight, at least, that is, I feel like noshing but I don't want to nosh just to have something to do. I'm not craving anything in particular; I just want to eat something to, I don't know, comfort me or keep me occupied as I work.

And so I hold fast to my talisman. I had a reasonable snack before (the kids had some ice cream, I didn't want to go there, so I settled for lf cottage cheese), and I had more more cup of coffee today than I should have had, but with equal so again, not too bad. You have to allow yourself a little leeway once in a while.

However I don't want to sit here and just eat and pick-- even if it's healthy-- just to use eating to fill some kind of hole. The only hole that eating should fill is hunger.

And I will be working late tonight and a lot tomorrow... we have decided to rent a car and go to Disneyworld to cheer ourselves up for a couple of days next week and get our last big blow-out before the summer when it's too hot and crowded to go at all.

But I don't want to sit here looking for food to be my company, or my consolation prize, or my stress reducer. Seems I use food for everything but what it's intended for.

So I will be squeezing my talisman periodically and praying occasionally and perhaps taking a meditation break to help me move past this desire for food for now. I know once we get to Disney, I won't even worry about food because I'm having too much fun and it's too expensive to eat in the parks,  so we usually just eat breakfast (bringing Cheerios), snack on things (carrots, cheese stick, pretzles) and go out for one quick meal (I'll be careful). Plus, I'll get a lot of exercise.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Can't Sleep... so here is a spontaneous art show

I couldn't rest or relax; so I thought I would share some of my artwork here.

First off, here is some spontaneous "body art" from tonight:

These are the paintings I like from tonight; I'm thinking of framing and hanging the dancing Mother Earth Goddess on the left:

And I mentioned I was redecorating; this is the hallway leading to the bedrooms and I made this little wall hanging display of my sketches and stuff:

Here are some of my sketches up close:

This is a photograph I love for some reason; I took it in a local cemetary. I am not a morbid person and I don't usually hang out in cemetaries, mind you... It's not a Witch thing, it just happens to be in the neighborhood. I had my camera and was wandering around taking pics on a positively georgeous Autumn day, and I just happened to be passing this little cemetary... it is a historic landmark around here; it has graves dating back to the 1700's. The way the light was coming through the trees, and the old graves just made an interesting landscape; so I walked through and snapped some shots on the way.

And then there is this little Celtic knot cross I painted on a piece of round wood:

And finally, my Pentacle, which I keep on my altar. I painted it about 10 years ago and it has been heavily used, not sure if you can see the candle wax and smudges on it:

I made one for my daughter a few years back, she's drawn to the element of water so I made it all blue and watery looking like ripples with a white pentagram, and I collected and glued all little seashells around it, and inscribed it with We all come from the Goddess; and to Her we shall return, like a drop of rain... flowing to the ocean.

Mind you, if you want to buy any of my work or commission something, just contact me through here. But really I just wanted to share; art is such an important part of my life, as you may have guessed if you've been reading this blog. And since I'm up and I had just uploaded my Beltane photos and it had my redecorating pics with it, I figured I'd add some for you tonight.

It is 5 am now... I'm going to try and lay down again.

Knocked for a Loop

Wow, rough day. My husband is getting let go from his new job.

For a fleeting moment, I thought about running to the market for a bottle of Pepsi, a bag of Doritos, and a gallon of ice cream; but then I thought I'm not going to do that to myself, not after I've worked so hard.

So then I walked around in shock for a little while, and didn't know what to do-- sit, stand, lay down, work, clean, watch TV-- I was so confused. But I didn't have a melt down, so that's good-- apparently the neurotransmitters are in order well enough tonight thank Goddess.

Then I thought about a cigarette... but no, not only do I not want to start that up again, but the last thing I need in these uncertain times is a costly habit. So my mind turned to food again.

Then I walked around again a while, in shock, layed down, got up, walked around wondering what exactly to do... the night felt so surreal, like time had stood still, as if doing things again, going back to the normal routine would somehow-- I don't know-- make reality hit harder.

So I finally decided to get out my paints and do some painting; And I was out of canvass board, I had no wood boards to paint on (I love painting on wood; I sometimes keep old cabinet doors or shelves for the occasion). So I borrowed some paper from my son's art class pad and started to paint on it.

And after a while I began to paint on myself... things like sons and flowers and leaves and vines and a rainbow and spirals, and words like Live Life Love Family It'll Be Okay... I painted my arms, then my legs and my feet, I just kept on going.

And then I made us something to eat and he and I sat down, and he got stuff off his chest and I let him know  I loved him and I know he did his best and that it just wasn't a good fit and we agreed that things would be okay as they always are, and he's going to start looking again this week and I am going to start working full time and he's going to take over the homeschooling and housework more until he finds something else... and he still has his little part-time job cleaning a lodge couple of hours a week that brings in a couple hundred a month which is good and he's going to try and find more things like that, even if just temporary. And we decided we're going to  try to find a new hobby to do together that has some income potential-- so far we've tossed around dumpster diving for furniture to refinish and sell on E-Bay, collaberate on a novel or make herbal soap to sell.

And I'm sitting here at 3 am, feeling a bit drained and still a bit stunned, still bright and colorful painted up like a clown, looking at my drying artwork and thinking of framing one that I really like... and trying to reassure myself that I'm going to be able to face tomorrow, and the following week and the rest of this uncertain time.

I know we'll get through this; but I get tired of uncertainty. I grow weary sometimes of holding my breath hoping things will be okay... they usually are, and even when they aren't we get through and overall life is good and happy so who am I to complain? But I'm too much of a worrier to deal with uncertainty sometimes.

But I keep telling myself:
it will be okay
we are not destitute
we have options
we are capable, hard-working people
we'll figure out a solution
and life will go on, as always, just as beautiful
we still have what is important and we are luckier than many so we have nothing to complain about
and I do not need to eat or smoke my way through this crisis which will pass soon enough

I don't know if I'm going to be able to sleep; I'm such a bad sleeper as it is; I'm sitting here watching Netflix DVDs of House M.D. and Legend of the Seeker, Season 1. It's not bad;  kind of a fun fantasy; it has 2 seasons but I hear it was cancelled. But it's not like it's Firefly which really didn't deserve the ax-- don't even get me started on that one!

Well, I guess I've moved on from journaling to pondering to rambling, so I will sign off now. I'm sure tomorrow will be a beatiful day full of hope and promise.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Funhouse Mirror Vision

When I was in 7th grade, I was afraid I was fat. I had always been a skinny kid but I ate a lot; my mother started making comments because I grew out of my jeans and needed a bigger size (never mind that I was finishing up growing, getting taller, with my hips were just getting rounder as I was becoming a woman). I was a size 10. And I wished I was a size 8 again.

When I was 14, I thought I might be fat. I was 5'8" tall; I was rounded and voluptuous, but I thought I had "thunder thighs." When I went to the beach I wrapped a towel around my waist and sucked in my gut. My mother put me on a diet that her friend was on where you ate 1 meal a day and swallowed vitamins and water the rest of the time, and after a couple of weeks of this she went bullistic on me when I kept falling off the wagon because she'd spent hundreds of dollars on supplements. But I couldn't help eating, and I thought it was a sign of weakness (never mind that she stocked the fridge with things like ice cream, soda and cake because "you can't have it now so I can finally keep it in the house"). I was a size 12 and I longed to go back to a size 10.

When I was 17, I thought I must be fat. I had a full face, and I would spend hours in front of the mirror, using all of my artistic sensibilities and make up tips, giving myself contours and highlights and lowlights to make my cheekbones appear higher, my jaw appear slimmer (never mind that I was of Eastern European descendence and just had a full face). My mother, who was not genetically related to me, was 5'2" tall and weight 100 pounds-- and almost killed herself as a teen trying to get down to it by drinking vinegar-- would say things like, "wow, you're really getting big." I was a size 14 and would have done anything to be a size 12.

When I was 23 I was a single mom, I was working 3/4 time, going to school taking 18 credits a semester and raising a child on my own  on very, very little sleep. I was depressed and eating poorly, and I just knew I was fat because I was a size 18... and I hated myself, I was embarrassed of myself, and my mother and her family pointed out at every opportunity that it was "such a shame because you have such a pretty face." I would have given my left arm to be a size 14.

And I kept eating, and sleeping poorly, and had a lot of pretty bad problems, like nursing my dad through his cancer while his family held a big drama about me being a terrible daughter because I was 2 months from graduating and my dad would encourage me to go to school; and a cousin was threatening to kill me and sneaking around to steal from me and sabbotage things (like cutting the washing machine hose in the middle of the night and causing a flood, then telling me how he was going to shoot me as I mopped up the water in the basement) because I was trying to help my mother get the alcoholic bum out of her house; and because I was a single mom, exhausted, doing an internship, on the virge of graduating, trying to support a family, and had a guy who loved me that my mother hated and was trying to break us up. And the stress was setting off my genetic brain problems with making neurotransmitters so I was starting to get sick... and I was eating poorly and severely sleep deprived and depressed, and I ballooned to a size 24, and I hated myself. If I could only get back down to a size 18 again I would never complain again, I told myself.

And when I was 35, I'd had 2 more kids and was laid up for a year after being rear-ended, and went up to a size 28... 30... 32.  Wouldn't it be great to go back to a size 24?

What did I learn? I learned you can't beat yourself up over things. You have to learn to love yourself and accept yourself as you  are, instead of getting worse, pining away because you're not what you had been. I learned if you want to make positive changes, you have to love and accept yourself as you are, not as you wish you were-- keeping up that regret and resentment for the mistakes you've made just keeps you powerless against making changes in the future.

I also learned how deeply people we love, people in our family, whether they think they mean well or they're just too involved in being petty and small, can effect and affect our lives and it's course. How hard words and accusations and threats can hit, how deeply they can wound, how a callous attitude and saying the wrong thing can cut you like a knife, and how difficult it can be to overcome some types of pain and scars.

I also learned how much someone loving and accepting you can lift you up and teach you to love and accept yourself-- which is my husband, the boyfriend at 27; the one who loved me no matter what size I was, thought I was sexy and beautiful, and never thought I needed to change the outside because he always saw me for who I am and not what I weighed or what size I wore.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


The last couple of days have just been very peaceful. Quiet. I had a long sleep last night, going to bed around 9:30 and waking up around 10:am, and I feel 100% again. My back was a bit achy from being in bed so long but I'm sure I'm over whatever little bug was there.

Now that the weather is nicer I want to get more into swimming. My complex has 2 pools, and we live in the sub-tropics, so it's already getting up to 90 degree days and it's not even may.

I was thinking maybe I could try to start getting into doing laps every other day or so... but that I should not just do laps, but do sort of a water meditation as I was doing them. Not all meditations are inactive and internal; some are active and external, like when you're doing yoga or tai chi. Slow, repetitive movements, you trance out a little but still retain awareness.

Speaking of meditations, I started doing this awesome meditation; after relaxing and getting into an altered state I envision myself going into a sort of cafeteria, which was to represent my appetite (just like, you may have heard, of meditations where your mind is a warehouse or office?). And in this cafeteria it had all the stuff I usually like to eat-- the things I crave. And I looked at it all and looked closely at just how unappealing it is, and threw them out.

I am going to do this meditation daily until the new moon, and on the day of the new moon I am going to spend a week doing it, but instead of seeing all the crap on the table, I will see an empty table, and I will begin setting it with healthy, wholesome foods.

The fat-burning candles seem to have really given the weight loss a boost, too, as I'm going through a little spurt.

You know, I think it's a lot like your relationship with deity. Doing magic, that is.

The big, occasional rituals and holidays are nice, and don't get me wrong, they are moving and meaningful, but it is the small, day to day things you do, like prayers, or things you notice, like the sunset or how fragrant the potted herbs smell or how pretty the bird is outside sitting on the tree-- these are the things that seem to really add up to a bigger difference.

Big production spells-- sure, they have their place and they are great and worth their weight in gold as far as I'm concerned; but making a little effort to bring a few minutes of magic into your daily existance-- that is priceless.

Ben says today "A small leak can sink a great ship."

And I agree; but it doesn't have to have a negative spin. A small leak, will, over time it moves mountains and builds the Grand Canyon. Just a trickle is all it takes... the important thing is not how big that trickle is, but that it is a constant and unyielding flow.

I'm beginning to see magic the same way. Sure, things can happen if you cast your spell on the full moon a few times a year when you need something, but I'm finding the greatest changes and the greatest rewards come with keeping that small but steady flow moving through your daily life.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Black Absorbs Energy

I had been toying with the idea of doing something drastic like making myself hate food, because I know I am still addicted and even though I am managing to keep it under control now, like a junkie in rehab, I take it one day at a time but fear the moment when I am faced with the unbearable urge and the means to indulge... I don't know if I'll be able to say 'no' to it.

But frankly the cravings haven't been too bad since I did the spell over a month ago to keep them at bay and got my hunger-warding talisman; a little bit during the PMS week of the salty/sweet, but overall, managable. So I am not going to do anything drastic at this point... I will save that if I fall off the wagon or find that eventually the cravings keep coming back unmanagable.

What I feel I need to get rid of is my fear and doubt. Even though part of me is really determined to do this and logically knows I can accomplish it, part of me is nervous about ultimately failing. After all, I have gone through the diet for 6 months or so before, only to end up completely failing, gaining it all back over the next few months plus interest.

I think that thought in the back of my head is just scaring me so much that at times it is overshadowing my confidence. I'm paranoid waiting for that moment; it's a little like waiting for the phone to ring when you know really bad news is coming.

So my plan is to use a black candle to absorb that fear and doubt and all these negative thoughts. Black absorbs energy. Think of how if you leave a black towel and white towel in the heat of the summer sun how much more heat the black towel will absorb. And thought is energy. And energy is heat. Get where I'm going with this?

So I will build up this negative energy and mentally pour it into the black candle, then light it and let the energy disperse. Maybe I'll set it outside so it won't get caught in the house, and I'll sage well afterwards. We're doing some more painting this week, I'll just wipe the walls down with a salt water solution first and really cleanse the place.

After the spell I'll put on my green robe for a while and just wrap myself in it, green for strength and stability and healing, and hold an agate and meditate for a while.

I did this type of spell when I had grief for my dad's death once and it very much helped.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Well, I am definitely coming down with something, I can feel it in my chest and throat.

The problem is that once a germ gets a hold of me it tends to wrestle me to the ground and stomp my ass pretty good. Before you know it, I've got bronchitis or pnumonia and I'm laid up on the couch for a couple of weeks, or walking around for 2 or 3 months trying to go on with life while a nagging persistant cold just won't leave.

So I get very pro-active. And I've gotten quite good at cutting colds off at the pass.

First I set up the crock pot. I put in some broth, chopped garlic, thyme, and a shot of black & cayanne pepper. I leave it on high all day and take a cup every couple of hours.

I Gargle and clear my nasal passage with salt water every couple of hours to keep away mucuous and blow my nose.

I change the sheets and pillowcases and spray the pillows and mattress with disinfectant. I wash my hands a lot and use hand sanitizer and am very careful about germs (I usually am anyway, but I take extra precautions when getting sick).

I take some vitamin C, and a tsp of honey two or three times a day. Lots of tea... if I have fever or achiness I make slippery elm and lemonbalm (the slippery elm is kinda gross, lemonbalm and sweetner like honey or stevia powder make it more bearable). I take a hot shower and try to sweat it out and take to bed for a day or two.

If I do this the minute I begin feeling the sniffles or a tickle in my throat, I'm usually fine in a day or two.

If I don't-- I don't know, I have low resistance or a poor immune system or something because I end up sick for weeks, if not months. I've been known to have a cold last for as long as 5 months, even with dr. visits every month to try some new meds. I have gotten bronchitis and pnumonia more than I can count and last time it almost killed me, about 2 years ago, that started with being exposed to mold (I have a bad mold allergy).

I don't take chances any more.

Anyway, I was visiting a Pagan message board and I am really saddened sometimes by how much false information Pagans still believe and spread about our religions. It seems so many people have just embraced this romanticized, anti-Christian, yet very false history. They keep spouting these inaccurate tidbits as facts, such as 9 million women were burned as Witches (more like 40-60,000 at most), or that Christians stole Pagan holidays (they sort of evolved, a lot of what we borrowed back was brought to the holiday by Christians), or that Christians tricked Pagans into becoming Christian by replacing our Gods (they really believe ancient Pagans were that stupid?) or that Pagans were forced into conversion (most Pagans converted quite peacefully and willingly) or that Pagan societies were peaceful and happy-go-lucky before Christians (many were war-mongering aristocracies that would rape and pillage and force prisoners into slavery) or that there was this near-universal ancient feminist Goddess-worshipping culture (ummm; no, Goddess worship was actually rare, and women were usually treated worse under ancient Pagan tribal customs than they ever were in Christianity).

I don't get it... Pagans will holler from the rooftops that Christians lie about us worshipping Satan or doing 'evil' things, but then will try to paint Christians as these sneaky power-hunger barbarians throughout history; Pagans will scoff and poke fun at Christians for believing the Bible literally about Adam and Eve and talking snakes even though it flies in the face of facts, but then will go on to embrace these completely fabricated historical claims painting some ancient Pagan utopia-- claims that have long been debunked.

It embarrasses me when Pagans go on about all this basically BS; it makes me worry about the future of our Pagan faiths... are we to be a religion of deluded morons who turn a blind eye to history? Or will we die out when more and more Pagans begin to wake up and learn they were lied to in *this* religion, too, and this let down being the last straw, just turn to atheism? If we're so embarrassed about what historic evidence really proves about ancient Pagans, and if that bothers someone so much, why be Pagan at all? Why try to create an imaginary history to make yourself feel better?

I guess I didn't go on much about weight loss today, but I had other things on my mind.

I decided that after the next full moon I am going to start Cunningham's dieter's bath. I am clinging to my weight-loss mojo bag and burning my candles because since my period ended I seem to be a bit stalled at 344. It's probably a natural plateau, so I'm not about to let it discourage me, I'm just going to pray and meditate my way through it. I'll worry more when I feel a bit better. I got circle sickness once, which is not fun at all, so I tend to lay low when under the weather.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Under the Weather

I feel a bit sick-- weak, tired; I think I'm coming down with something. I had planned to stay up and do a tarot reading when everyone went to bed, which is no big deal as I am usually the last person in bed, anyway, but I just don't feel up to waiting tonight. My son has had a cold, I hope I'm not catching it; I hate being sick-- Goddess knows I've had more than my share of time spent laying achy and sore and leaky and out of it.

I made some candles to ward off cravings. The plan is to burn them whenever I get urges that I can't shake.

I need to go shopping. Bad enough not being able to eat whatever I want when I want it, but when choices are limited it really sucks. I wanted to buy a watermelon the other day, but they're like $7 in the supermarket... is that ridiculous or what?

I have to get my car fixed this month and get to the farmer's market for a good $4 watermelon. And I have to get to Disney, this Disney withdrawal has been worse than the food withdrawal or the ciggarette withdrawal.

I don't know what I'm saying... I'm going to bed. G'night.

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