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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I Quit Gym.

I have cancelled my gym contract.

I feel a weird mixture of relief and fear. I am relieved because I no longer feel like I am forced to go to the gym and I am afraid that this may mean I will not exercise at all and become lazy.

I've quit gym for a boring reason. There is no life wisdom to share. No amazing "a-ha" moment. I quit gym because I am... well... bored.

It's time, I feel, to try something different.

This doesn't mean I have no plans for exercise whatsoever. I actually feel quite excited about the possibilities out there.

See, the money I was spending on gym, I can now spend on exercise that gets me excited. Happy. That I can look forward to.

Like Krav Maga.

Like Mixed Martial Arts.

Like Kickboxing.

Like Latin American Dancing.

Like learning to tango.

Like belly dancing.

Like learning rock climbing

And there are things I can do for free:

Park Run

Climbing Klipriviersberg



I have not felt this excited about exercise in a LONG time.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

When Discipline Manifests

I have experienced a lack of motivation lately. It's even difficult going to Krav Maga. And I love martial arts.

I was reminded recently, though, that there is a powerful disciplinarian who resides within me. The Warrior part. The part that doesn't take "I quit" as a serious answer.

I hadn't realised it, but this aspect of my personality has probably saved my life on several occasions. She has dragged me out of the depths of depression, "Get up. Get up." And I got up. She helped me off the couch and into the gym. She has brought me to the dojo.

For all of that, I am grateful.

Tomorrow is a public holiday, and Lloyd, my trainer, has decided to train me on the proviso that I can get to the gym at 6am. The Inner Couch Potato groaned, "But it's a public holiday. I want to lie in."

Then, my inner Onna Bugeisha (female samurai), said, quite firmly, "Get up."

So I am getting up. I may not feel like getting up, but I am getting up. I may not feel like going to the gym, or Krav Maga, or getting out of bed, but I am going to.

She has never let me down. Every time I got up when she told me to, I have taken a step towards saving my own life.

Yes, I know that sounds dramatic, but it's the truth.

Thank you, my Onna Bugeisha, my Inner Warrior.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

100 Days of Mindfulness

I've taken my inspiration from Nicola Davidson.  (If you don't already follow her blog, I strongly recommend it.)

Nicola decided to go 100 days without alcohol. And then another 100. And another 100. Her actions spawned a movement of people taking 100 days to lay aside a bad habit or create a positive one.

I've always had an issue with sugar. And junk food. It's part of compulsive eating. It's where I turn when my emotions become something I would like to numb.

I know I have said all over this blog that it's not a good idea to restrict food when you are recovering from an eating disorder. However, there is a reason I am doing this 100 days of no sugar and junk food: I want to be a fully functioning person without having to rely on anti-anxiety medication to lead a 'normal' existence. Seriously. Yes. Sugar and ingredients found in junk foods aggravate anxiety levels. I want to be anxiety free more than I want to eat cupcakes. And that's a nice change.

As much as I like chocolate, I understand that it doesn't help me cope with anything. It also makes my anxiety worse.

So I am viewing the next 100 days as an experiment.

I've decided to add my Buddhist beliefs into what I am doing. I realise that I am attached to sugar and junk food. I am attached to the high/numbness it provides. I am attached to labelling myself a compulsive eater.

What I will be doing over the next 100 is releasing my attachment to sugar and junk food as a coping mechanism.

How? Through mindfulness.

Mindfulness means being aware of one's actions. Being present. Being THERE. I've written extensively on this blog about mindfulness. Here's a link: MINDFULNESS. You will note that in recent months I have not taken any of my own advice and ended up right back where I started as far as body mass is concerned.

And so begins a new chapter. Today is the second day of this journey. Early days yet. I am interested to find out where this path leads.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My Journey In Recovering The Sexual

I'm a beautiful, sexy woman.

I don't say this lightly. The journey to feeling beautiful and sexy again has taken years. And therapy.

I've mentioned before that I was once in a sexually abusive relationship for a period of about two years. That kind of situation can rob anyone of their self esteem. I emerged from the relationship a broken human being and ate my way through the pain and depression that followed. As far as I was concerned, I'd be happy to never be involved intimately with another person for the rest of my life.

Confidence, in general, is difficult to rebuild after something like that. Sexual confidence is even more difficult.

Only recently I realised that I had recovered a very large portion of the sexual. And not through having sex, either.

It's been a combination of things, but this feeling that I am a sexual being, a damn fine sexual being, crept back in stages and was accelerated by my participation in Krav Maga.

Yes, I know that sounds really weird.

Let me back up here a little. When I first started Zumba two years ago, I struggled with the wiggly, bump and grindy, hip swaying moves. Not just because I thought I looked silly, but because these moves clearly were designed to activate the root, or sexual chakra.

As I grew in strength and confidence, the moves became easier, more fun. I felt that activation. I noticed that even though my hair is streaked with gray and I am not a size zero, I still turn heads. Turning heads, attracting attention. These things made me feel unsafe.

When I feel unsafe, I eat. I eat so that the fat stays in place as my protection. I had to devise a plan to allow me to feel safe without being fat. That's when I decided to start Krav Maga.

I leave each training session feeling strong and empowered. And it's not just about learning to defend myself. In training, we work with a sparring partner. I usually end up with a guy and this means that we make body contact while we train.

Body contact with a man is enough to send me into an anxiety attack. But not recently. I feel safe. I feel comfortable. I own my body again. I own my sexuality again.

It took me six years to start wearing make up again. Fifteen to wear heels again. And short dresses.

The sexual aspect of recovery and our journey to wholeness is something we never talk about. It's something we might whisper in inboxed messages if we feel brave enough. We might mention it once and then never again. Our silence keeps us victims. Our silence means we are still giving power to the abuser. Our silence prevents us from rediscovering our strength.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Today I Weigh 110.6kgs

Back in June 2012, I weight 110.9kgs. That's when I started my journey. Or restarted it. Or something like that.

June 2012 - 110.9kgs

This morning, the gym scale advised me at 5:45am that I weigh 110.6kgs.

Why am I telling you this? Well, the last time I shared my weight with you, I was  telling you why it took me a year to lose 8kgs.

Things have obviously changed. I have spent the first four months of this year stuffing my face with bread and pasta (mostly because that was pretty much all we ate for a couple of months), sweets, crisps, soft drinks and a whole bunch of other crap. Yes, I can go on and on about how stress raises your cortisol levels and how cortisol makes it more difficult to lose weight and that I have been stressed and blah blah. How maybe it's water. How maybe it's because I am ovulating. Maybe because I haven't been going to gym regularly. Maybe because I did a lot of this:

The reality is that I made the food choices that led me directly into a relapse into my compulsive eating.
I knew what I was doing. I knew that I was hiding my emotions and burying my stress in food instead of examining them. Which is basically what I tell everyone to do on this blog. Like I used to do. Perhaps because I was overwhelmed by the emotional and financial stress I was under. And I reverted to past negative and unhelpful behaviour.

I am not going to apologise for it.

And the weird thing is that 110.6kgs does now does not feel the same as 110kgs back then. My previously camel toe pants are still previously camel toe. My grey trousers still have room in them (not as much as before, but they would have cut off my circulation at the start of my journey, arm holes are not tight. My one salwaar suit fits me better now than it did in the beginning. My red top doesn't feel tight around the shoulders and billows out in front of me instead of making me look 7 months pregnant.

Nicola Davidson mentioned something similar on her blog. I tried to find the post, but wasn't successful.

So I am back to being mindful and being aware of my emotions. I am back to using more helpful methods of coping with stress. The stress has not actually minimised, but the way I deal with it has changed.

Perseverance. Definitely a warrior-like trait.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"I've Been So GOOD Today!"

Good at WHAT, exactly?

Your job? Not running people over while driving? Resisting the urge to purchase a Bazooka with which to take out that annoying neighbour?

Or do you mean that you have followed all the food rules and not eaten anything you shouldn't have?

Remember when we were kids and our parents would discuss our behaviour that day? "She was SO good!" And we would feel proud. "You won't believe how bad/naughty she was." And we would feel humiliated.

Food is food.

Really, that's all it is. We decide to charge food up with emotions. Cupcakes - bad, tempting, seductive, naughty. Carrots - healthy, a good choice, diet food. Cupcakes are just cupcakes and carrots are just carrots.

When we tell ourselves that we are "good" or "bad" in relation to food, we are giving it power over us and our emotions as well as how we see ourselves. If we stick to our food rules, we are GOOD. If we don't, we are BAD.

And telling ourselves that we are good or bad - and we more often tell ourselves we're bad - has an impact. Words have power. They come to rest in our sub-conscious. The subconscious creates how we behave in the world.

Eat. Enjoy whatever you eat. The food is neither good nor bad. How you perceive yourself in relation to it, is. And that perception is something YOU have power over.