Friday, September 28, 2012

Light Bulb #1

I've titled this blog thus because I am pretty sure this won't be the first light bulb moment I'll have on the way to where I'm going, but it needs documenting, I think.

Today has been a really weird day in a lot of ways. First up I did overtime at work for four hours from 8 till 12 (for a day's pay, though - woot!) and then I had an appointment with my GP to get a couple of sun spots/pieces of thickened skin from sun exposure cut off my face. That it itself didn't turn out to be such a pleasant experience because anaesthetic in the face is OUCH and for some unknown reason it triggered off some kind of allergic reaction in me. Not a serious one as in anaphylactic reaction but one where I got tight in the chest, a big urge to sneeze a lot and a bit itchy, like my histamines were going nuts. Long story short, I ended up with three sun spots off my face and then, as a result of the allergic reaction, they gave me a lung test I've probably needed for a while due to a constant irritated throat and dry cough. I ended up leaving with both a bandage on my face and medication/a puffer for mild asthma. Hmm, well, I can't say it's entirely a surprise because my lungs have always been a weak spot but at least I know now. Hopefully the medication is going to help.

Anyway, in an allergic haze and with a headache, I went off to see the person to whom my GP referred me for help with the "mind" stuff. Let's call her 'EK'. I don't want to go too much into the details because some of it is too private even for a blog but suffice it to say I really found the session very helpful, primarily because EK has heard of Sandy and her program and what she has given me for homework dovetails in very well with Mindwise Bodywise. Basically, when I eat, it's to be mindfully. So, whether I am at work or home, if I am by myself (it's different rules for socialising) I am to eat at a table and I'm not to do anything else BUT eat. I can't have the TV on but I can have music on, especially music I enjoy and which soothes me.

Part 2 of this light bulb moment is to do with my dinner tonight. Now, by the time I had this huge day I literally was too busy running around between doctors' appointments to eat so in between 9.45 this morning and about 5.45, all I had was a cup of coffee. I was the hungriest I've been all week since I started tracking for Sandy's program. I had a headache, I was shaky and I felt weak, which would make me about a 1-2 on the Mindwise Bodywise scale. But still, I had to pick what I really felt like for dinner and and I was determined to put EK's ideas into practice immediately. Bizarrely for anyone who knows me well, the thing I felt like was FISH! So I went to the fish shop at Warner Village and got their "one serve of fish with some chips" meal plus a small container of tartare. When I got home, I was still ravenous by my standards but I had a look at what I'd been given and truthfully, it was really two serves. Not that I couldn't have ploughed my way through the whole lot because of course I could, but I was being honest with myself and I knew I didn't need all of it. So I divided the serving of both the fish and chips in half. Then I went to my dining table.

This is the one I made look all purty the other day (and which I barely ever use!!!) and put a candle on it. I went and put on some music I like. I got my plate and put it on the table and I sat down. I wasn't sure if I would be able to make the meal last the suggested 20 minutes that it takes for your body to register you have eaten and give you a signal, but I was going to give it a try. In the end, I think I managed to make it through more than five songs and I reckon that would have been about 15. A very creditable effort, I think!

So, the million dollar question is how do I feel now? What happened to that ravenous hunger I felt? I can honestly say that right now, about an hour after eating that mael, I am not hungry. I'm not stuffed. I'm just comfortable, perhaps leaning slightly towards being hungry because I have eaten so little today. But that's okay. If I need to eat later, I'll eat again but not unless I really feel I need it. So I suppose what I'm wanting to reinforce for myself is that even if I sit down to eat and I feel like I could chew off my own arm with hunger, if I take my time, relax, put down the fork in between bites and concentrate on being in the moment with what I'm eating, it is possible to reduce that ravenous feeling to a satisfied feeling and the best part is it doesn't need to take a huge amount of food to do it. I feel it's going to be important for me to remember this.

And I think that's enough for tonight. That's my first big light bulb for a long time and it's a good one! xx


  1. Nice one. I do agree with the idea of eating at table and focus on the meal. It makes you enjoy it so much more and helps you take food seriously.

    1. Thanks, Coco. I think it is an excellent idea. But it is also quite difficult and makes me feel uncomfortable - even more proof it is exactly what I should be doing!