Well, I’m loving the work I’m putting into the book (May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein) but I’m backed up a bit – I’m still at the very end of week two. Day 13 I think which is fine with me. I don’t mind moving at a slower pace. I don’t want to skip over things and I’m pleased to say my days have been quite busy. So it’s okay. The thing is I’m wanting to take it even slower then suggested because I find the little mantra’s and attention shifts to be really useful and it takes more then just the mention of something for me to actually shift my focus. So I spend three days reminding myself that I can “trust that I’m being guided” every time I have a niggling fear, instead of one day and moving on and then it’s more of a habit. It may sound like a picky bit of semantics but it’s truly changing my days.
I have for a while now been aware that living life as a series of choices instead of events changes my ability to cope with things. When I see that my life is a series of my own choices I panic less and I enjoy more. Even if I can’t see it directly I hand selected all the little elements of my life that are currently at play and while that may sound depressing if you’re not going the way you want to I have found it to increase my happyness. For myself I can be okay with not getting what I want or disappointment if I know it’s not my fault – used in a light sense, not a blaming fashion-and not some hand of fate. I don’t mind taking the blame for the mishaps. I get to collect the reward for the successes after all. So yes (this is the example I’ll come back to time and again because I struggle with feeling okay about my body) I am heavier then when I left Australia and yes I’m nervous to start this new job and to see my fiance after a 5 month seperation at this higher weight/pant size, knowing full well that it’s even more disappointing because I had felt so good about myself, I had worked hard and now that hard work no longer shows. But, I chose the steps that brought me here and I am actively choosing steps to bring me to the next phase, I am building my future, I am building my body. I cannot go backward, but I own my past, my present and I’ve claimed my future. It’s freeing to me and keeps me focused. Every time I want to stew about how lazy I must have been and what I failure I must seem, it’s getting more natural for me to auto-correct, for me to stop myself mid-rant and think, what I”m choosing for tomorrow, the choices in the past are already made, done and dusted – I forgive myself for choosing fear in the past but now I choose love. and move on. The less time I spend on self-flagellation, the more time I can spend on building the future, living the present.
I believe all the time spent in ”self-flagellation” was a defense mechanism from my past that became a deeply ingrained habit. I’m sure it served me at one time, but it no longer does now. So I don’t have to do it anymore….
Now I’ve been creating a habit (laugh if you want) of painting my nails at night to match my outfit for the next day. I’ve never been girly or into what I considered unneccessary grooming. But I’m loving this new habit. It physically focuses me on something frivolous and beautiful about the future. It fills my time with planning my clothes and my “statement” for the next day instead of looking at the perceived failings of the past. Today I have a nice iridescent white on my nails and I do look pretty
Little habits become bigger ideologies. That’s just my theory!
The short information is I’ve learned a lot this week. I’m actually shocked at how much my perception has shifted, or just begun to shift. It’s all really good and I think quite helpful.
I had a really bad day, my rant continued into the next day. I don’t know if it was just normal hormonal shift or if working to change my perceptions just dredge up some intense reactions or what. But there was a sentence I read in Gabrielle’s book that I’ve been kicking around using since – “miracles are just a shift in perception”.
And also, one of the exercises had us listing out our fears and then responding to them. One of her example responses was something along the lines of “I forgive myself for having this fear. It doesn’t help me at all. I choose to see love instead.”. When I wrote out my fears I realized that even if I am “fat” or “stupid” or “a big fat failure” that telling myself that and being afraid that I am, isn’t really an efficient use of my time. She’s right, that fear doesn’t really serve me – even if its more then a fear, even if it’s a reality. My weight has gone up little by little since I’ve been home and I’m afraid of getting bigger and yet, my “fear” is a reality, I just keep getting bigger. However having that fear is not helping me at all, it is not changing anything, it is not pushing me forward or making me smaller. It’s just there tearing me down every day. It was a light bulb moment for me. Recognizing these fears means I now want to ignore and move past them since THEY DON’T SERVE ME. I guess hanging onto those fears, motivating myself with them would make sense to me if they actually helped me progress. But they don’t. ANd perhaps she’s right and they actually keep me back.
Yeah, I’m gaining weight. Yeah it feels bad most of the time and I’m doing everything I can to lose weight and it’s backfiring. Perhaps not being afraid of it is the first step?
Whenever I’m trying to learn something new I grasp at my own experiences in life to help me explain and prove something does occur in nature or in my life in particular. So I started looking for similar patterns in my past. And one of the major “successes” in my life is my relationship with Dan.
For years I was afraid no one would love me, that I was in fact unloveable or “disgusting” as I used to put it. That I was nerdy and not easy to get along with, that if I let my guard down and didn’t watch everything I said and did, if I didn’t sit at a mans feet (true story) or make myself a useful woman that I wouldn’t just not be loved, that I wouldn’t see any reason to be wanted at all. and in my bit of experience it turned out to be true – and then some. Even when I did watch everything I said and tried to be perfect and believed and acted below my partner, eventually I wasn’t important enough to be cared for and so I would break up with whoever I was with and try to make myself better. There came a day when that all ended but it wasn’t abrupt, it was little changes over years and then an 8 month period of licking my wounds. When finally one day I thought – whatever, I like being by myself, I want to be able to have what I want in life, maybe I am ugly but I’m going to embrace it, I’m going to be ugly AND get what I want – I cut off all my hair (that was my attempt to embrace the ugly), showed up at a party even though I was feeling fat and bulky, I danced the night away like I didn’t care, because I didn’t. And I met Dan, that very night. The ironic part of my relationship with Dan is that it’s the only one in which I have behaved opposite of how my fears used to dictate. In the past I was afraid to make a mistake, or to speak up, or to disagree. With Dan because of the journey I’d just been on, I disagreed when I wanted to, knowing I might lose him but not being afraid. I was at my absolute highest weight and biggest body and yet I still felt the right to want certain things. Dan will actually say that the day he knew, KNEW he wanted to be with me, the day that sealed the deal, was actually the day I threw a fit at him in a public train station – stomping my foot even- because I insisted that he not waste my time. That’s completely opposite of my actual fears – I was being hard to handle, not subservient, not polite and not pretty.
So all of that to say, when I finally said my fears weren’t serving me in that area of my life, I found things that did serve me and the fruit of that has been the best relationship, a better love then I ever could have even believed in.
So here I am with another list of fears, and again my perception is shifting…
Today is Forgiveness Day in the book. It’s like she heard me yesterday! It begins with the following “Today I let myself off the hook. I look upon my life’s experience with a loving eye…”
And so I listen. Today I let myself off the hook for choosing all the things I chose in the past from partners to left turns, to each bite of food and round on the elliptical. Because I know in my heart that each step I made with the best knowledge and motivation I had available to me at the time. Today I’ll actively forgive, myself first, for anything that has been a self disappointment.
Happy Valentines Day, the day of love. I know that I am loved and that makes me grateful (albeit a day after gratefulness day I send love out to you too.
I’m off to get pole “kisses”
***WARNING I’M GOING TO SWEAR A LOT***
Well, today was Day 4 and it was supposed to be all about Gratefulness and you know what? It was an epic fail. Today was my first major wall. Apparently I’m not grateful. I had a major reaction to today, the whole day. You know what I actually am is angry. I HATE my body, I’m angry that no matter how hard I try I cannot stop hating it. It’s like betrayal of the worst kind-how could my own self be so disgusting to me? How can I still not be more loving then that? How can I hate myself so much? And I’m angry that nothing is familiar to me, not streets I drive on or people or grocery stores or workouts or foods, everything’s a fucking ordeal every few months. I’m angry that my body can’t figure out the temperature – it’s hot, its cold, I’m hungry I’m thirsty, I have dry skin, I’m breaking out, I’m allergic TO EVERYTHING. It’s like every few days my lips swell up and I get a rash on my face and I have to figure out what food is poisonous to me now. And what I’m most angry about is that it’s been 90 days since I’ve seen Dan. 90. fucking. days. 3 months of plastering a smile on my face and getting ready for adventure and going with the flow and being freaking grateful for time spent with family and travel and love in my life and I’m over it. I’m tired of being happy I have someone who loves me and I’m tired of talking about the future and I’m exhausted of thinking of what’s going to happen and being strong and independent and enlightened. I’m done. Now I’m just angry. I’m angry that I can’t get it together and just feel good about myself. I’m angry that I’ve fallen in love with someone that I can’t be with at the moment. I’m angry that it bothers me so much to be away. I’m furious that my life actually is so much better when we’re together. I’m enraged that I actually found a person I can’t find fault in or be a victim to and now I just can’t be with him, it’s stupid. I’m angry that I want so badly to use this time to be even better for him then when I left and I JUST KEEP FAILING MISERABLY. I’m fatter, I’m less happy, I still don’t know how to do my hair or not cry when I’m pissed off. I still drink diet coke likes it’s going out of style. I’m still trying to make friends with this lousy shitty body I’ve had for 30 years.
You know what, I just found it, what I’m grateful for. I’m grateful that I’m in a place in life where I can get all of that out and still know that everything is going to be fine because tomorrow will be new. And I am not a bad person for feeling angry. I am grateful I can feel my feelings without filter, that I can admit that I’m a human being with all the feelings in the spectrum. I am grateful that at the end of the day I will wipe my tears off my own face and set my alarm to embrace whatever tomorrow brings. I’m water, baby, I may rage against the rocks in my path, but I keep flowing around them.
I’m learning a lot. It’s not really the book, it’s where I am in life at the moment that allows me to take just the smallest nudges to push me over huge cliffs.
I was watching The Carrie Diaries today, just the first episode. I’m not much of a TV watcher but lately I’ve been catching up on shows through Hulu.com. I’m finding myself really tired a lot and I seek downtime by laying in bed watching hulu. I hadn’t originally wanted to watch The Carrie Diaries as I felt like it was a shameless marketing ploy to extend out the financial success of Sex in the City which by all rights, has been a gigantic success anyway. In all honesty I never watched Sex in the City until years after it stopped being aired – a friend gave me the entire “pink bible” after my last break up and I watched it cover to cover falling in love with the seemingly very relevant issues. Perhaps my life is different then yours, its certainly different then I thought it would be. The issues of miscarriage, how kinky is too kinky, testicular (or cervical) cancer, the pros and cons of different methods of hair removal, balancing age/career/when and if children are to be had and questions of how many partners is too many are all extremely relevant to me, and even more-so when I was in my mid-twenties, living in California. But I’m getting off topic…
I decided to watch The Carrie Diaries today as I’ve exhausted New Girl, Grey’s Anatomy, Body of Proof, Modern Family and Bones. What’s left really? I really ended up liking it and I can’t wait to watch more but I was struck by something surprising. I am in awe of natural female beauty and my definition of natural is different then others perhaps. You see, I know the girl cast as Carrie is Australian and having lived in Australia for a while I was really impressed with her American accent. And her body, which is a more common body type, in my opinion, down under then here. Her body is soft and feminine (albeit tiny of course). Curvy. For as long as I can remember I have been forceably shaping my body through physical labor and nutrition modification. and I do mean as long as I can remember. I have been shaped, muscularly through soccer, swim team practices, gymnastics, dance – running, doing push ups, stretching my splits, building my lats, lifting, sprinting, lunging-since I was 3 years old. I started to manipulate my nutrition to fit different goals when I was 9 years old. I don’t know what my body would be now if I didn’t do that. I always assumed I would hate it, that I would feel unkempt, that I would be chubby and look lazy. What if that’s not true. What if my body, left alone to eat what it craved and move “normally” (whatever that is really), would have been soft and curvy and small, or large and shapely. I have no idea, I never even saw the outline of what my body could have been. And I’m not saying I regret it at all it’s just interesting to me. I’m also not suggesting that the woman who plays “Carrie” doesn’t work to shape her body or eat for goals either. Far be it from me to suggest that someone in television is all natural. But it’s certainly not the body of an athlete and I find it beautiful and I’m inspired by the beauty of it. It’s a kind of beauty I know nothing about. It’s a life I know nothing about. What would I do with myself if I didn’t workout and spend 80% of my life in physical pursuits? What do other people do? There’s so many beautiful, healthy, happy people that don’t jump from one dance rehearsal to pole class to sprint session. What do they do? and why?
Rabbit hole, I know.
But the last three days with the encouragement from “May Cause Miracles” I have first been willing to bear witness to my fears (Day 1). I have admitted that I am willing to see things differently (Day 2), and I have said “Love did not create this” when I am faced with my fears (Day 3) and so I have been looking at things differently. On purpose of course.
At the end of each day I have been listing the fears that come up during the day. I share this list with something like the opposite of pride, but I wanted to share the work I was doing. I do believe in it.
Fear List – I am afraid that:
1. I am fat
2. food I eat will make me fat
3. I will run out of energy if I don’t eat enough or the right thing
3. I will fail to be able to do what I need to do if don’t eat enough or eat too much or not the right thing
4. I am wasting time
5. I won’t be productive
6. I am lazy
7. I will have a conversation that I can’t get out of when I am no longer wanting to talk
8. I am missing important things
9. someone will hurt me because I am not being attentive or I am making a stupid decision
10. I will not be satisfied
11. will not well at whatever task is at hand and that I will feel worthless because of it
12. will not have the energy to do a good job
13. I am working out wrong and making my body bigger
14. I am too big
15. I am too wide
16. I am too muscular
17. I am not strong enough
18. I am lazy
This is a list of my daily pedantic fears. The fears that strike me while I’m driving and that shape my decisions. These are the motivating factors of my day, why I chose to eat what I eat, workout when and what I do, spend my time the way I do. Unfortunately it seems my biggest motivation in life is to find ways to not be fat.
One particular thing that I’m clinging too and deciding to change first is my belief in my own ability to get fat…from everything. Food will make me fat, skipping a workout will make me fat, working out the “wrong way” will make me fat, sleeping too long will make me fat, spending my day without a plan will make me fat. According to my own fears my ability to get “fat” is endless and my life is a chess game where fat constantly has me in the checkmate position. crap nuggets, that’s a lot of work for one aspect of my life. That’s a whole lot of fear.
Comittment to blogging has been waning. It’s not really for lack of free time, it’s more like a lack of desire. After trying to restart this thing a few times I’ve realized that I’m really not interested in detailing my food and fitness escapades as much as I was in the past. Instead of an insightful fun hobby where I unravel my past eating disorder demons it’s seemed to, lately, bring the past bubbling to the surface in an ugly way. That is to say I started to really struggle with myself.
However, I’m not done blogging. I started a book called “May Cause Miracles” at the behest of my nutritionist. I didn’t realize when I picked it up at Barnes and Noble that it’s a 40 day workbook, but it is and I’m going to share with you my 40 days. I have 48 days until I leave Ohio for the great semi-unknown (mostly to you, but I will reveal that soon enough). I’m seeing a nutritionist/health and wellness coach. I’m not vegan – le sigh- but I’m also not going to talk about my diet. Or my exercise schedule. All of that is being handled. I train/workout 6 days a week as per my usual. I eat regularly and I have some specifics designed for energy and some health concerns that became pressing. I’m also taking a few vitamins (Multivitamin, ALA, PB8), which I’m usually, utterly horrible at but I’ve been keeping up and I think that’s progress. But I’ve made a choice to shift my focus off of food and exercise for a while and see what happens when I focus on career and emotional/mental health – spirituality if I may use the term loosely. I am not “religious” in the sense that is widely used but I am very interested in my own spiritual life.
And so I want to write about my experience with Gabrielle Bernstein’s book “May Cause Miracles” has anyone read it?
For tomorrow… Day 1
Fi is right. As is my nutritionist, my fiancé, my best friend and my intuition. It’s time to stop trying new things. Though I don’t regret trying a bunch of new stuff out, I don’t have the luxury at the moment of giving it a good long run at the moment. I have up coming physical work and the need to have visible abs for such work.
So I’m sticking to it and owning it. I’m doing all my research on Vegan athletes, vegan recipes and vegan figure/bikini competitors. Why? I have decided to be vegan. I need the energy of an athlete and the body of a bikini competitor.
I am going to be a Vegan Rock Star. Welcome to my journey. Welcome to my blog. I need to throw myself into this 100%. This is what I want for my body and my life. I will be focusing on eating vegan for my specific goals and the fact that I travel a lot so options that fufill my needs but without a refrigerator or the ability to prepare things in advance. Vegan. Rock Star. Life.
While it may seem counterintuitive, eating “vegan” has always been so freeing for me. All the restrictive binds of the diets I always try in an attempt to look and feel better get loosed when I’m vegan. I eat carbs, meals and snacks, fruit, beans, red wine. and a large amount of food. Because, lets face it, it takes more vegan food to feel full and have energy sometimes then it does omnivorous food. All of a sudden there are options for anything I want. I can find clean vegan foods, healthy vegan foods for all occasions and cravings. Perhaps this is why I like it (along with that ever present feeling of being more peaceful about my position in nature and the world).
My workouts right now are straight from this book. He has a program called 1st Class which is an intermediate program. There’s a fitness test for each level. I was stronger then the beginner level and in my mind I thought “hey, I’m strong, perhaps I need the master level”. However the fitness test to START that level began with “can do 16 one arm push ups….”. Intermediate it is. Then I run at least twice a week and if I can/have time and space, I’ll do my 50 minute Tara Stiles/Deepak Chopra yoga on iTunes. I love the two programs I downloaded and I really like the frame of mind I’m in after completing them.
ps. Back to vegan for a while and my nutritionist has nixed my 22 hour fasts. This means a few things, getting used to what foods to pick and what keeps me full and energetic, and also – the effects of fiber. I’m gassy, bloated and have to go to the bathroom a lot. Le-sigh. There is no doubt in my mind that I get plenty of fiber.
Here’s what you need to know:
Christmas was great! It snowed, I spent time with friends and family in Ohio. I went for a long snowy, frosty run. I made quacamole, chocolate covered pretzels and a noodle-less lasagne that was a big hit with my Italian father and brothers! ( I used zucchini for the “noodles” and we didn’t have ricotta so I mixed cream cheese with egg and heavy whipping cream for that layer)
Then I left for Oregon on December 29th and got to spend NYE with my best friend, her fiance and their friends (including two of the most adorable children EVER). Once the kids were asleep with did jello shots and played games. It was awesome and chill and everything that is great
I’m still in Oregon and loving it here. Of course I love being around Melanie! But I also love the dampness in the air, the green scenery and the coffee culture. I could totally live in Portland. Plus Melanie’s family is amazing and make me feel like a family member.
I am vegan. Again. I started a bodyweight workout program that’s 4 days a week and it’s kicking my butt a little and I love that I have to use monkey bars and doorknobs for the workout. I’m also running for an hour at least twice a week. I adore being with my best friend and I’m also falling in love with hemp milk lattes. I’m navigating eating vegan again but I love the way I feel emotionally when I am not eating animal products. I don’t know that it is the healthiest most efficient way of eating but I do know it is the one that eases my mind and I feel the most home in. And because I felt so much energy on a ketosis diet I finally got myself a B-12 supplement and have been taking it without fail.
For New Years I gave myself a gift. I found a nutritionist/coach and have started up with her. It’s not comfortable for me, but is investing in myself and this long journey of reconciling my past eating disorders with my present goals and my active estethique based career. It’s tiring and confusing on my own but I’ve been pretty successful. However I’d like to take it to the next level – ie I don’t always want to be on a diet or thinking/devising/changing it up. I’d like to have a lifestyle, a go to that just takes a week or two of tweaks for specific goals. I’d like to put to bed my fears of being to big to be acceptable. I’d like the days of crying because my jeans feel tight to be a thing of the dark distant past. and I’m willing to pay for it.
I don’t know why my blog motivation has been low but I still thinking writing regularly is a good idea. And I love the support I have on here. So I will try to step it up a little I love checking in and I get such great and thoughtful responses. Thanks for still being here for me! Let me know what’s going on in your new year!
It’s snowing here. I got to run in the snow and while I was savoring each little flake hitting my face I thought about all the different places I’ve run this past year. It occurred to me how different it was to run in the China heat along the river ,amongst all the butterflies in Melbourne, and overlooking the shoreline in New Zealand, and yet how similar. My playlist hasn’t changed much. But my life really has. 3 years ago did I ever think I’d have seen so many places or done so many things? Hell no.
2012 has been…interesting. So many times Dan and I looked at each other and said “2012 has been such a shit year”. And yet I turned 30, we got engaged, I spent the holidays with my family, I “did” The Great Wall of China, we spent 3 silly days in Aukland just Dan and I, I met a circus company and fell in love, I did more paperwork (taxes, visas… et al) then ever before. I’ve gotten to do silks again and I obtained my drivers license after a 3 year lapse. I traveled so much this year, by accident. I did a singing gig…I was, for a brief 2 months, employed as a SINGER. I BOUGHT A WEDDING DRESS!
I lost 10lbs in 2012 and held my lowest healthy weight for the longest…and then I gained it back right here at the end (lol. sort of). I ate meat again for a brief period of time (before going back to my vegetarian/vegan leaning ways). Picked up P90X again and dropped it again (like it’s hot), I did like 6 different programs. I feel stronger, more flexible and yet more pudgy then ever. I know my body better. I know my mind better. I inhabit my own soul. I feel powerful and smart and not fragile at all. Like gaining (almost) 10lbs is just what it is and not an earth shattering life event.
This is my life and I have dominated it. I am the ringmaster, the leading lady and I’m loving it. Even if everything didn’t pan out the way I thought it would, I still own it and I’m in love with my life, even on the bad days.
What more can you ask from a year?
My life is freaking amazing. I have a partner I love more than anything, I’m mobile, busy, happy, active, surrounded by family. I’m enjoying nature, I’m laughing. I feel really lucky on a daily basis. It’s not lost on me how charmed a life I lead. Some days I’m just overwhelmed by how surrounded by love I am, how much the puzzle pieces seem to fit together.
But there are some days, I want to stay in bed and cry my eyes out. I miss Dan. I miss not hating my body (we had a good run there for a while and now I just…I don’t want to put it into words. I’m just so uncomfortable and I don’t know what to do but try to distract myself). I’m surrounded by people I love but don’t know very well anymore – my family. This is a really good thing. But I think I may be drowning my hours of smiling and being thankful in chocolate some nights, hence my lackluster body composition. It’s been over a month since I’ve seen Dan. I want to lay in bed and cry on this rainy day. It’s been two months since I put on a pair of jeans and felt pretty. I want to run for hours until I get that feeling back. I’m going to do neither. And that is my amazing feat for the day.
And maybe I’ll stay away from the chocolate, now that I’ve kicked the diet coke (my name is Crista Leopardi and I’ve been diet coke free for 5 days, two hours and fifteen minutes…), again. By next week, perhaps I’ll feel good in my clothes again. Perhaps. And when I get to skype Dan perhaps I’ll feel more like myself again.