Self-Care…and Liebster Award!

liebster-awardI was nominated for a Liebster Award! But first…

I occasionally have to work weekends as part of my job and I don’t like it. I don’t like taking a weekend day away from my family time and it throws my general mojo way out of whack, so that I am grumpy for days after. But I knew this was part of the job, my co-workers have to do it too and I accepted it when I took the job, so for as long as I do the job, I suck it up.

The most Sunday I had to work, I was restless and impatient – it was hot and I really wanted to be at the beach instead. I was alone in my office (through the week I have fun officemates) when I much prefer company. There was a little bag of chocolate truffles in the office that we have all been pecking at for weeks, and I always have chocolate in my desk. Can you tell I am chocolate insecure and I must be surrounded by it at all times?! This does not normally lead to me overeating chocolate – it has the opposite effect, actually. I only eat small amounts when I truly want it.

But this particular day in the office, I had not brought a hearty enough lunch (I left the “bread” part of the “tomato and bread” soup at home), I didn’t have enough filling snacks (yogurt is a staple) AND I was deadly bored and wanted desperately to run away from my desk but I couldn’t. So what did I do? I made a trip to the chocolate bag. And then another. And then into my desk for some Ghirardelli chocolate. Suddenly I stopped and said, “Okay, what’s happening here? I’m not that hungry, although lunch definitely didn’t leave me satisfied…but I don’t really feel like eating all this chocolate.” I was comfort eating – something I actually rarely do these days (but something I did A LOT of when I was a dieter). And truly, there was not a lot I could do to provide any other kind of comfort for myself – I could not leave work, I did not have enough time to go for a walk…eating seemed to be it. However, after I named the behavior, I suddenly no longer needed the chocolate. What I really wanted was some protein – and I resolved to have that for dinner (sadly, we tried a new place for dinner and it wasn’t that good, but at least I had the chicken I was craving).

Comfort eating happens sometimes. Sometimes it’s the only way we have to care for ourselves. And if it really only happens once in a while, it’s no big deal. As I’ve mentioned before, a day of “off the rails” eating isn’t going to destroy the goodness of an overall healthy, “normal” eating pattern. If this is happening a lot more (weekly, or even daily), then it’s time to look at what you are really craving. Are you eating to stuff down unpleasant feelings? Are you eating to solve problems that have nothing to do with food? Are you eating because you are bored and it’s just there (I was told once by a psychologist that boredom is not a feeling and is usually masking other feelings)? In any case, frequently, mindlessly eating for reasons other than hunger need to be investigated. As always, be curious, not judgmental, with yourself and your feelings.

This is part of self-care. We need to take care of ourselves in all ways, not just with eating or exercise. Our mental well-being is, in my opinion, the biggest part of our overall health. Take time to get to know the inner workings of your mind and feelings and it will be time well invested.

I know why I was so bored and restless that day – I have some vacation coming up and I was anxious for it to get going. Not to mention I was feeling a little burned out, as we humans can get! I didn’t freak out about my day of weird eating and things returned to normal pretty quickly.

So, in the spirit of self-care, for my vacation this week I will be going dark on the internet – I’m aiming for total media deprivation! (Thank goodness for timed blog posts!) So forgive me, my lovely readers, if I don’t get back to your awesome comments right away…or at all this week. I’ll be taking care of myself at the beach while I think of you all!

And now…

Liebster Award!

Thanks you to Chelsey from Diaries of a Recovering Diary Addict for nominating me for a Liebster Award! I have really enjoyed Chelsey’s blog ever since I found it a little while back – I love her personal stories around diet recovery and budgeting and planning. I didn’t even know what this award was, but a quickie internet search revealed that this is an award given from one blogger to another, usually someone with under 500 followers, to encourage support and discovery of new blogs.

Here are the rules (which, based on my search, seem to be pretty flexible):

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you with a link back to his/her blog.
  2. Nominate 5 – 11 bloggers with fewer than 500 followers.
  3. Answer the questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  4. Create 11 questions for your nominees.

I would like to nominate:

Aaron Flores, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist aka the Balance Variety and Moderation RDN – Aaron is an incredible teacher of Intuitive Eating and blogs about body acceptance and images issues as well. I love this thoughtful posts on everything from childhood obesity to fat shaming.

Thomas Ngo of The More You Ngo – Thomas was a classmate of mine and I enjoy his blog as much as I enjoyed his witty sense of humor back when we were in school together. He is a dietitian and personal trainer and is HAES and intuitive eating-friendly – not a combination that is easy to find! Plus he says hilarious things like “Dr. Oz is a liarface” and “What happens when you cut sugar out of your diet? You die.” Rock on, Thomas!

Joanne Arena MS, RD – I always enjoy Joanne’s “voice of reason” when it comes to eating and nutrition. She embraces HAES and intuitive eating and writes with a great, approachable voice and cuts through all the BS around nutrition that’s out there! I always look forward to what she has to say.

Fuel For Freedom – I recently stumbled on this blog and I love its mission to combat eating disorders and the harmful messages we are fed by the media every day. I am looking forward to reading more!

I’m going to break the rules a little and only nominate these four. I wish I had more time for blog reading – alas, alack, blog writing beckons!

Here are my answers to Chelsea’s questions:

  1. What is your favorite food?
    Pizza! Without a doubt.
  2. What is something you have always wanted to try?
    Hm…learn to play at least one song on the guitar. I live with a guitar player, so you’d think this would be easy to make happen. Not so much!
  3. What is your favorite hobby?
    Right now it’s blog writing. But I’ve also just picked up sewing again recently – can’t wait to make some new drapes.
  4. What is your biggest pet peeve?
    When people say “It’s just calories in/calories out!” ARGH!
  5. Where are you from?
    Canada! But I’ve lived in California for 13 years now. I still miss Toronto quite a bit – but not the weather!
  6. Where is your dream vacation?
    I’ve already been there, but I think I’d love to go back to Belize again. I’ve never been anywhere so relaxing in my life, and by now I’ve traveled to a few places. Amaaazing snorkeling and wonderful people.
  7. What is the last picture you took with your phone?
    Don’t laugh, but I don’t own a *real* smartphone (and don’t have a data plan), so I don’t take many pictures and I definitely don’t do any uploading…I did take a pretty fuzzy photo of some recording equipment I just bought for a super-secret-but-upcoming project!!
  8. What food do you hate the most?
    Peas. Blech. And also quinoa. I wish people would quit telling me, “Oh, but I have a recipe for quinoa that you will love!” I will not. The only way I could like quinoa less is if you put peas in it.
  9. If you had to choose to live without one of your five senses, which one would you give up?
    Eeeeeee…tough one…I can’t say “none” can I? Ok, I guess hearing. I cringe just saying that, but I think I’d still be able to live (not without difficulty) without hearing. And I’d learn the superpower of lip-reading and then eavesdrop on people on first dates in restaurants. I was going to say touch but then I imagined how many times I’d burn myself on the stove…
  10. If you were stranded in jungle somewhere and could only bring one item, what would it be?
    My camping water filter…I’m nothing if not practical.
  11. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would buy?
    A house with a few acres somewhere quiet. Then I’d plant a garden!

Here are my questions for my fellow nominees (again, I’m going to break the rules and not ask 11 questions):

  1. What led you to a non-diet/HAES/intuitive-eating approach?
  2. What’s the last book you read?
  3. What’s your favorite, most fun physical activity that you do?
  4. What’s your favorite TV show?
  5. What’s the last movie you saw?
  6. What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
  7. Where would you like to travel to next?

There, seven rhymes with eleven, so seven questions are enough. Thank you to all the bloggers I nominated for writing excellent, insightful posts about NOT DIETING! You are making the world a better place!