Monday, January 10, 2011

It starts again and mind over matter

Another clean slate, so everyone says. We always use the new year as a good time to start fresh and new. I am part of that party too. It's the perfect time, just as "I'll start on Monday" to put new things in place and make positive change happen.

It's also the perfect time to reflect back on the previous year for all that was learned, experienced, remembered and appreciated.

I'm eleven days behind on this, but late is better than never right?

Here a a few things I would like to put on my list of personal improvement for the new year:

1. Be better at being mindful and thankful. Be present in the moment, if it's good, relish in it. If it's bad, deal with it and move on. Never rehash or rewind bad thoughts or experiences. They are done and gone - move on. Be thankful for all I have, the love of my family, our health and our happiness. No material possession or dream of grandeur matters more. Being alive and healthy and enjoying my children is what I should be mindful of.

2. Continue on the path to a healthier me that started in October. I can't stop now and it feels good to feel healthier and look better. My body gave me a warning and I am listening. Without health, there is only pain and death. It really is the most important aspect you have for yourself, for life. I want to continue down this path and never go back to those dark feelings of insecurity. I also don't want to hurt again or hurt my body again.

3. Continue learning and exploring more foods and techniques. My goal is to learn as much as I can about the benefits of a variety of whole foods. I don't always make my bread, pasta or mac n' cheese from scratch. It's a working mom's time management issue to try and fit it all in, but I will continue to do my best to disconnect from the manufactured world of processed food and eat as healthfully as I can.

4. Putting more of my mind over matter discovery into place. I have not yet discussed this, but I have found I can do just about anything if I convince myself I can. I am in control here, not the voice in my mind that tells me I can't. I finally learned to hush that voice when I want to and I want to apply this knowledge to more of my life.

5. Oh, and I want to read as many books as I can get my hands on!

So now for my mind over matter mini discovery. Sorry if this sounds so cliche' but that statement is complete truth to me now. I probably should have already known this since giving birth to two children. For labor, you must convince the mind to relax and trust the body to do its work. To trust that your body knows what to do. First though, you must hush the voice that tells you that you can't.

So with this change that I had to make abstaining from all alcohol, I decided to clean up some other areas in my life as well. I quit all carbonated beverages, all dairy (except one cheese in particular in very small amounts), no processed food, no fast food and very little meat. The most important component was portion control.

I found that with portions, I had to challenge my mind. Control of that voice in my mind telling me I couldn't stop, but had to finish my plate or get seconds. I had lots of practice during my pancreatitis when I could only consume broth for food. So I worked on giving myself portions about the size of my balled up fist, or making sure to only have a cup of pasta verses my usual pasta bowl of 4 cups. I then would tell myself to eat until satisfied or no longer hungry. I had to learn to slow down, savour the flavors and give my stomach the time to register being full or satisfied before attempting to get up for seconds.

After a while I decided it would be fun to challenge myself. I actually was amusing myself on all of the different things I could tell my mind I didn't need to do or have. It hasn't always been easy, but I learned how strong I can be if I really want to. I learned that I can say no. I learned that not having all of these things was not torture or punishment. Everyone feels sorry for me that I don't eat French fries, soda or cheese pizza. I don't feel like I am missing anything. I know what goes into fast food French fries and commercial cheese pizza and I would rather not eat fake food. Actually I crave sauteed spinach with garlic, carrot and apple juice, roasted beets, dark chocolate and good tea with agave. I'm not missing a thing. I don't feel deprived at all. I'm eating what I like and I don't have to worry about what's in it or where it came from (because I know).

To end this long post, I'll just say that I want to continue with that mind over matter thing. I would like to go as far as having the strength to leave the office world and pursue something else. I am still searching for what that will be. I'm trying to talk Chris into starting a brewery, but haven't convinced him yet...

Once I find it, I must hush the mind that I can't, but instead know that I can and it will all be ok.

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