Self-growth From Finding Challenges

Do you ever hear people say that there is always something that needs to be worked on? I find that to be true. I think there is a healthy way to always challenge yourself though. We don’t need any of that obsessive perfectionistic vibes floating around! I am talking about the small daily challenges that one might face and working on overcoming those to better yourself in a way that bring you complete and total happiness. Who doesn’t want that? I will forever be finding new ways to push myself so that I am living the life I want to live.

I was up early this morning to meet Mary at 7:40 for my appointment. I had work afterwards so we kind of jumped right in to discussing this past week and the upcoming week. The big things we talked about were breakfasts and then eating out. I mentioned to her how it has been a little difficult to come up with something to have for breakfast when I know I have a small window of time, such as when I wake up to go to the gym in the morning. I want to come up with a good breakfast and morning snack that is satisfying and gives me necessary nutrients. So we compared what my breakfast was like on a day when I can cook breakfast at home and have an easy going morning with what my breakfast and morning snack is like when I am up early to go to the gym. We talked about a few ideas for meals that could be prepared in a pinch if I didn’t prep my breakfast the night before. Another challenge I still face that I would like to work on to bring more joy and spontaneity in my life is eating out. I haven’t eaten out in quite a while but it is something that people do all the time, so we talked about that for a bit. I told her that my parents and I are going to go out Friday night, hopefully to a new place, and I am going to order something that the place is really known for. That way I can really get the full experience of the restaurant and who knows, maybe I will taste something that changes my life! Mary also gave me another book to look through that she thought I would enjoy 🙂

After my appointment with Mary I went to work. I had my breakfast while I worked.Image I had a great time at work. We got the store completely restocked and then I got some reorders figured out for my boss. The people I work with really just make the day amazing. They are the most entertaining people I know! I wish my boss could have been there though. I feel so bad that he is sick right now! I took a break to have my lunch. I packed some leftovers along with strawberries.Image

When I got home at 6 I had a Kashi bar for my snack and then got started on a few things online for UNC. I also got some work done for the online store for the Bulls! I felt very productive this evening. I was supposed to hang out with my neighbor tonight but he was tired after a crazy day so that didn’t happen, which is fine because I got to watch the Penguins win their game! That and my mom made a delicious dinner 🙂Image

I packed up my lunch and snacks for tomorrow and then made overnight oatmeal for my early morning breakfast before I go to the gym with my mom. Then I work 9-5! I like these weekday hours.

Think it, Feel it, Make it Happen

Happy Wednesday! Half way to the weekend. Is everyone excited?

This morning I woke up and got dressed before I fixed a quick breakfast. I had to hurry to eat it so I could make it to Mary’s by 8, but it was still tasty and satisfying! I had an orange, some carrots, a chai latte and a bowl of granola with almond milk. Image

My time with Mary flew by! I began by telling her about my weekend in PA. I told her about my amazing and spontaneous experience with the guy I met on the plane. Talking the entire flight and then having breakfast with him at the Detroit airport was something that I never would have been able to do two years ago. Two years ago I would have been socially paralyzed by the fears I had with engaging in conversation and just pushing myself to be spontaneous and have breakfast with a stranger. I told Mary how in high school I avoided everything. Literally, I avoided talking in class, I avoided guys I liked, I avoided doing things outside of school with friends, all because I was so scared that body would betray me by showing my nerves and anxiety. I was known for turning beet red all over. I hated it so I did everything to avoid it. I connected it to the book I am reading that Mary lent me: Ask and it is Given. When you want or ask for something in life, you have to be mentally aligned with those wishes as well or else there is no way you will achieve what you want. If you think negatively, then events in life are going to reflect that. So I told Mary how I used to simply have to think about turning red and my body would do so. We talked about that for a while and she told me how people with eating disorders can also do something similar. They can think themselves full. I used to do that by vicariously eating through others or by watching the food network. My thoughts were strong enough to convince my body it wasn’t hungry, even though it was starving. She shared this really interesting article she heard on NPR. Mind Over Milkshakes. After talking about that we talked more about the book I am reading and we looked at one of the exercises in it to help get as close to joy as possible. It was just a really great, uplifting session!

I went to work after my time with Mary and spent the morning working on the online orders. Then I added more product to the online store. My mom dropped me off lunch from Whole Foods and I took her up through the dugout to show her the new stadium since she hadn’t seen it yet. It was a nice little midday visit from her! Lunch was yummy too. Two hardboiled eggs with veggies and quinoa, grapes and pineapple, yogurt and a WhatsoNutso bar.Image I spent the rest of the afternoon taking pictures of apparel and photoshopping it to get it ready to put up online. I took work home with me… I am going to try and get the pictures finished so on Saturday when I work again they will be ready to be put up.

I had a Kashi bar when I got home before I headed out to the barn. I had a great ride! I rode Vinnie in a simple straight rein today and I thought he did very well. There were a few moments when he stuck his head up and I could have used the leverage of the German martingale, but it was nothing major 🙂 Renee rode Ray at the same time so we also got practice with having traffic in the arena. I helped Renee with feeding the horses before I left for home.ImageDark picture, but Vinnie was hungry!

When I got home I watched the Penguins game and relaxed. My mom made a delicious dinner: Grilled chicken, grilled zucchini, sauteed peppers and onions, pepperjack cheese. Then I heated up a tiny sweet potato and topped it with a laughing cow wedge. Yum! Image

Now I am going to go try and figure out if I have the program I need on my laptop in order to get these pictures ready for work. Have a good night!

Art Field Trip and Reunion with Vinnie

This morning I woke up feeling well rested and ready to take on the day! I got ready for work before I made my breakfast. I fix a red pepper scramble, a chai latte and a bowl of oatmeal topped with berries.Image Then I was off to work! When I got to the Bulls I got started on pulling items for the online orders. A bit before 10 all of the staff hit the road to go to the art museum in Raleigh. There was the opening of the Bull City Summer exhibit which featured photography taken by several artists last summer. There is a book that was published and so this exhibit displayed a few pieces. It was really interesting to see everything through a different perspective. I enjoyed it very much and it was nice to think about the park and baseball in a different way. After the tour of the exhibit we all went to the restaurant at the museum for lunch. I was disappointed that we were not given the menu to order for ourselves. The lunch that was given us was still good, but it was slightly difficult to be completely comfortable with it. There was a little side salad, a pasta and the chicken was breaded and fried, topped with a mushroom sauce.Image The voice in my head was telling me that I should refrain from eating it because the fat content was sure to be higher than what I was used to eating. But I was able to get over that, mostly because I didn’t was to isolate myself from the social event of enjoying lunch and the company of my co-workers. I ate until I felt satisfied, doing my best to listen to the signals from my body.

Once lunch was over we headed back to the Bulls stadium. I worked on getting the remainder of the caps and the 47 Brand apparel up on the website. That was pretty much the remainder of my work day!

When I got home I had a quick snack before I headed out to the barn to spend time with Vinnie.Image I gave him a good brushing before I tacked him up to ride. He was such a good boy! I just did a quick ride but he was excellent and I had a great time 🙂 Image I talked to Renee for a few minutes and then helped feed by giving Vinnie his sweet feed and hay before I left. When I got home I started making my dinner. I fixed penne with leftover chicken sausage and squash. I also steamed up some broccoli and topped it with a wedge of Laughing Cow white cheddar. It was very yummy!Image Then I watched Cocktail with my parents. Now I am going to go have a snack before I catch some sleep. I have my appointment with Mary bright and early in the morning before I got to work!

Let Go and Life Happens

Today’s session with Mary was so great! I like how we talk about things that are completely unrelated to nutrition. I mean, the topics can always be applied someway to relate to a challenge that I have with food, but getting different perspectives on other aspects of life to try and achieve maximum happiness. We both get sidetracked easily during conversation, but that is what makes each session so much fun! We began by talking about her son’s jazz show he was doing tonight that she was attending. He plays the upright bass and had to compose music for everyone else playing tonight. That was interesting to talk about and I hope his show went well! Afterwards I began by talking about my past week. I told her that I pretty much worked all day every day but on Sunday I was able to go to the barn. She asked me what my plan was with Vinnie and I told her that I was thinking about the possibility of showing him again (since my mom and Renee discovered the secret to making horses calm at shows) but maybe just starting with open shows. It is just an idea at the moment. Mary then asked me to describe what showing was like. To me, showing is such a rush of so many emotions. There is excitement and adrenaline mixed with gut wrenching nerves. The feeling after you finish a class is worth all the sweat and tears you poured to get there. Putting yourself out there to be judged and coming out on the other side is such a big accomplishment and something to be proud of, whether or not you won first place or came in last. I always felt like I overcame my biggest fear when I was done with the class and it always made me want to turn right around and do it again. Overcoming fear is just exhilarating. We eventually started talking about the actual food part of my week, and I made a few goals:

  • Be more spontaneous at work: go out to lunch with people if they are going. Be aware of my inner response to the situation and how I feel from the moment it is presented through the time we are eating. Order something that sounds very good. Notice if I am scared of that food. All of these will help me to bond socially with people.
  • Time my meals better while I am at work. Food is not a reward – don’t delay lunch or snack until I am finished with a task. If I am hungry I need to take my break and eat. Even if I am worrying about my task while I am eating, it is still important not to put off nourishing my body, not all eating opportunities are going to be relaxing.

When we talked about social bonding Mary shared a story with me from her weekend at her beach art retreat. She was reading on a bridge because it was just the perfect spot. A woman walked by and said she was searching for a place to read. The woman eventually came back and said that the bridge was the perfect place to read. Mary told her she was about to go have dinner so she could take her spot on the bridge. Well, Mary said her and the woman ended up talking for a while. The woman just really needed to talk about a problem she was having. People aren’t meant to hold everything in and sometimes you just have to say words out loud to realize what needs to be done. Mary of course told the story with much more detail and eloquence, but that was the gist of it. I said it was wonderful how she acted as a human canvas for this woman. She just needed to express everything in her mind and she did so by using Mary as a vessel to hold on to everything that flowed out.

At the end of the session I told her how I was starting to get nervous about my school situation. I should hear back from UNC in about a week and I will hear from State mid-May. She gave me wonderful advice: breath. The right school will happen. I can’t control everything and I should just ket the universe take care of it. The universe will put me in the right place. What ever happens will be the best thing to occur and something wonderful will come from it. Let go and life happens. Sometimes if you try and control things too much, they end up going out of control or pushing away. That was wonderful advice and of course she had a terrific story to go along with the advice. Mary’s stories are the best! She is just amazing. She is like the super nutritionist!

After that appointment I headed home, making a quick stop to get a USB memory stick. I heated up leftovers for lunch and threw an apple in as a side.Image

I worked on transferring pictures to the memory stick before I headed to the barn to hangout with Vinnie! I had a great time grooming and then sitting on the fence watching him. Soooo relaxing 🙂 ImageImageImageImageImage

When I got back home I started cleaning and reorganizing my room. I had to scrape paint up off the floor before I vacuumed and rearranged. I took a break during my room project to have pretzels and greek yogurt.Image

My mom made dinner tonight: turkey burgers, roasted brussels and zucchini. I just had the brussels and then had an addition of a small sweet potato.Image

Now I am watching this intense Pirates game! Hope you had a good day!

Goal: Work With No Excuses

I have literally spent my entire day at work. Yesterday, too, when I wasn’t at my appointments. Last night I got home and had dinner at 11:30 so I was just way too tired to do my daily post. Tonight I was able to leave earlier so I am taking advantage to do a reallllyyy quick update before I have snack and go to bed. I NEED TO SLEEP. Tomorrow is opening day at the ballpark and we still have like a week worth of things that need to be done, so I am going to be going in really early and I will be there till the last person leaves, so more than likely there will be no post tomorrow either. So… Where to begin?

Yesterday

I woke up early to go to the Y with my mom before clocking in at 8. I followed my mom’s lead and did a 40 minute strength training workout. It was a good one. I felt the burn as I did the exercises but it didn’t make me sore. Before the Y I had a banana and after the Y for my morning snack I had overnight oatmeal made with strawberry Greek yogurt.Image I worked on personalizations for online orders all morning before I went to my appointment with Mary. My session went really well! I have my goals made and we talked about creativity and how to differentiate between different types of satiety. It is also my goal to be more spontaneous when I am at work. I have been coming up with excuses to not partake in the eating activities that others do. A lot of people go grab a quick bite out and I haven’t felt comfortable doing that, which makes me wait till I get home to eat dinner and I end up eating too late and going too long in between meals and snacks.

After that I met my mom at Whole Foods for lunch. I had a rice, veggie and egg mixture, mixed fruit and greek yogurt.Image After sitting and talking with my mom for a while I ran to the bank before heading over to my appointment with Lori. I can’t believe that yesterday was my last appointment with Lori. I am really going to miss working with her. We briefly talked about my homework from the past week before we reflected on what I have learned over the past year. We also discussed techniques that really worked for me so that I can use them in the future. It was a good way to wrap up our time together.

After my session I had a new bar for my snack.Image Then I went back to work! I worked until 10:40. I am so glad it was fun though!

When I made it home I reheated what was left from my parent’s dinner. I threw the chicken on sliced bread with a wedge of white cheddar laughing cow. There was also some really tasty baked zucchini and yellow squash. Then as my immediate bedtime snack I had some berries, trail mix and milk.ImageImage

Today

This morning I was up early to get ready for work. I got ready and then packed my lunch before having a quick banana and greek yogurt. Mid morning I had my almond butter sandwich.Image

I worked all day at folding t shirts. I did a few other things, but this was a task that felt never ending. For lunch I had leftover pork stuffing,  cauliflower, an apple and pretzels.Image I was feeling very stressed out because the t shirt tables weren’t getting done as quickly as I was hoping. After 2 my boss basically ordered me to go eat my lunch and relax for a minute. I was also getting stressed out because there were so many new people who came in to work during the afternoon and I felt like I had to keep telling them what to do which took up time for what ever I was working on. Either that or they would come over and try to work with me on what I was working on while there were other things that needed to be done. I dealt with it though. I was new once too haha. Time flew by and I ended up having my snack later than normal. I had another new bar which was surprisingly good.Image My stress level thankfully decreased over the night. I am so happy to have Casey back at work. She really brings the fun haha. She is also really thoughtful. She runs a lot and so we were talking about a half marathon and she was saying how she didn’t want me to become obsessive about it. She also checks to make sure I have eaten my lunch or snack. She is also hilarious so she is just a really good friend to have at work. There are some other really good people who work there who make the time really enjoyable!

As I drove home I ate some veggies and a turkey sandwich from Whole Foods.Image My mom was nice enough to drop me off some food for dinner so I wasn’t waiting until I got home to eat. She is so nice!

Alright, I am calling it a night! Wish me luck for the busy day tomorrow!

 

The Tuesday Routine

I love my Tuesdays. Mostly because I always have such good sessions with Mary and Lori! Today felt extra special though because I got to relax when I woke up before fixing my breakfast. It had been a while since I had my usual oatmeal, scramble and chai latte so I whipped that up for myself.Image After breakfast I cleaned the kitchen as much as I could before I put together all of the things I needed for my client and for my appointments.

I was so sad that this was the last drop off for my client. I have learned so much from this experience and I am really really wanting to make a business out of it.

Session with Mary

My session with Mary was wonderful! She started off by sharing a few thoughts she had for my business, including how to go about getting a business license and making sure I am following all the necessary regulations. Next we talked about my last week. I shared what I had been up to and how my eating went. I shared my detailed food log as well. I told her about the yoga class I took on Saturday. I realized that I was comparing myself to other women in the class and I was letting that impact my happiness and my eating later that day. Mary pulled out some pens and I began an exercise where I wrote down good things about my current body. I found it to be very helpful and I feel like I could easily remind myself of those positive qualities (strength, energy, consciousness, happiness, health) when I notice my mind going into comparison mode. After looking at my food log Mary suggested that I move my bedtime snack so that I am having two snacks between lunch and dinner because we have been having dinner so late. Mary then printed me out a page that had information about mindful eating. We read through the whole thing and discussed it. It talked a lot about fullness vs. satiety and how mindful eating focuses on feeling satisfied rather than just full. The difference is that satiety includes many emotions and senses that are involved in the process of eating. Can’t wait to work on that this upcoming week! Then we talked all about a few random things before I gave her the samples of the food I made my client. I always love my time there!

I met my mom at Whole Foods when I was done at Mary’s so we could get some lunch. I had turkey sausage with peppers and onions, brown rice, broccoli and kale along with some fruit and a greek yogurt. Yum! Image

I had some time to kill before my appointment with Lori so we went to Morgan Imports and I found a shirt that I just had to get. Only people from Durham will understand this shirt. Bull City! Image

Appointment with Lori

Lori asked me to begin by talking about the last week and how my thoughts on what I have to offer in a relationship have changed. I told her that my thoughts hadn’t changed that much, but that I realized I have all of my personal experiences, thoughts and opinions to offer. Those things are unique to me and it is something only I can bring to a relationship. Lori then pushed me to think about first dates and how I think I would feel and how I think the guy would feel. All I could really say was I would be a nervous wreck because I feel like there is so much pressure to make a good impression and that perhaps that is the reason why I fear dating. Body language/posture was another topic of discussion. She asked me to describe what my posture would be like when I was willing to be open and what it would be like if I was feeling vulnerable or ashamed. That was very interesting to me and I am going have to work on paying attention to my posture and how it reflects what I am feeling. She took a different approach to a perspective about dating because I mentioned how I felt like maybe I just have too many standards and they are unrealistic. She asked me about Vinnie and what I was looking for when I was first looking for a horse. Then she asked what drew me to Vinnie. I told her how I thought he would be a good horse because his ad pictured him being shown, he was in our price range, he was trained hunt seat, he was located close to the area, he seemed like a horse that would be a small project because he hadn’t been shown that much. Then when I saw him for the first time in person I was immediately sold. He looked right at me and I fell in love. After some time of owning him, I realized he was flawed. He was high strung and every single ride was a risk. I was in tears within hours of arriving at every single show because I was so frustrated that he was out of control. At home I couldn’t get him to do any type of work. I couldn’t even go down the road for a trail ride without putting my life at risk. I still loved him through all of those struggles. I just worked so hard to achieve perfection and I never reached it with him. Now, I am having the time of my life with Vinnie. I have let go of all my expectations and I am riding and spending time with him to experience pure joy. It is like I got happiness from not trying to make Vinnie something he isn’t and accepting him for what he is. And we couldn’t be more compatible! Lori connected that to dating and to my eating disorder. I was miserable when I was trying to make my body perfect. I had so many expectations and standards for myself. After letting go of those unhealthy habits I was able to really enjoy my life and myself. As for dating, she connected it to the challenge of having standards but being able to look past them to see what lies beneath. It is when we stop trying to make situations something they aren’t that we are able to make real connections with people. I hope all that made sense. I feel like I just had so much mumble jumble going on in my head and I tried to get it all out at once. Hope you understood all that!

On my way home I had a blueberry muffin Larabar.Image When I got home I repaired some necklaced that broke before I was joined by my mom. We cooked dinner together and it was delicious! Pasta with a homemade tomato “sauce” and turkey feta meatballs. It was fabulous! Image

After dinner I got my things prepped for tomorrow. I put together my breakfast and packed my lunch and snacks. I am going to be up early to go to the gym before going to work so I am off to have a quick snack before bed! Hope you had a good day!

Don’t Delay: Set Your Goals and Work for Them

Hi everyone!

This morning I tried to sleep in as much as I could before I got up to get my day started. I multi tasked and cooked my breakfast as I got ready for my appointment with Mary as well as work. I made basically an identical breakfast to yesterday’s. Image

I grabbed my things and then I was off to my meeting with Mary! Our time began with her telling me all about her time in New Orleans. It sounded like she had such an amazing time there! She gave me a Praline that she made at a culinary class she took and it was delicious. She then told me about the areas she toured and how she wore a costume on St. Patricks day. I think it sounded like a marvelous place and I definitely wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to travel there! When we started discussing how my week went I handed her the detailed food log I made that also kept track of my hunger and fullness levels as well as the times of my meals and snacks. We were really able to go into a lot of depth, mostly because of the notes I made for each day as well, describing times when I felt like I was listening to eating disorder type thoughts. We also talked about a big thing that I need to break. I have been waiting until sometimes 5:30 to have my snack. The was a rule that somehow was enforced that I couldn’t eat my snack before 5 even if I was hungry. So that is a big goal of mine to break that. We talked about several other things before I summarized how things have been going with Lori. Mary had some great input as well on the whole dating subject as well as hiding in an eating disorder to avoid the things we fear. Before I left we spent a few minutes discussing good ideas for a name for my personal chef business. She is full of such knowledge! Great session! Here are all of my goals for the week:

  • When eating out, don’t fear the amount of carbs, fat, protein in the food, but instead focus on my level of hunger. How hungry am I feeling? What do I feel like eating? How full do I want to feel after I eat? Approach those questions with honesty and curiosity.
  • Eat a meal at the Whole Foods HOT BAR, not the salad bar.
  • Let go of fear!!!!
  • Don’t delay my snacks: eat when I am hungry. NO MORE OF THE AFTER 5 RULE
  • Eat enough at each meal so I am not eating bigger snacks and skimping on the next meal as a result
  • Keep up with my detailed food log. Circle areas where I am feeling too hungry or too full and try and make sense of it

After my appointment was over with Mary I headed over to the Bulls for work. There wasn’t much actual work that we could do, but over the course of the work day we did two interviews, tagged a few boxes of shirts, moved a few boxes out of the way of accounting’s files, and worked on online orders. After the first interview we took a break to have our lunches. I packed a turkey sandwich, carrots and an apple. Image

It was a good day at work, but a stressful one because opening day is getting closer and closer and we are anticipating the move back into the stadium. Of course, everything is up in the air about the day we can start moving things so we are stressing about when the right time will be to pack everything up from the temporary location. It is just hectic.

When I got home I got changed into lazy clothes and then had my snack. I had pretzels, Greek yogurt and the rest of the Praline Mary gave me. Image

Now I am just relaxing on the couch, but I will probably go help my mom with dinner soon. I really need to get to bed at a decent hour tonight! Tomorrow morning my mom and I are getting up early to go to the Y before we both go to work! I am hoping tomorrow is warmer and sunny. This cold rainy business needs to be over! Hope you had a good day!