Eating When Hungry: Why I Binge

Today I learned that one of the reasons i binge on junk food in order to cope with my own emotional discomforts. Something(s) in my life have been or felt out of my control. There’s been things in my that I truly wanted and while I did everything to try an get them, I didn’t get them. As a result, I Binge on junk food to cope with the sadness, pain, and discontent of those unfulfilled spaces in my soul. I feel like my boyfriend is ignoring me, I go out and buy junk food. I’m sitting watching television and boredom overtakes me, I grab a burger. I’m sad, I go to Wendy’s and get nuggets. Stress? Junk food. Lonely? Junk food. Empty, heavy calories to fill me up when I feel hollow inside. 

Today, I chose to eat only when hungry. Today, I chose to listen to my body and eat when it told me it wanted to eat. I was surprised because today, instead of having my first meal at 8 or 9am, I had my first meal at 2pm. I tried a square of my boyfriend’s maverick &pizza, a chicken caesar salad, with 1.5 chocolate chip muffies and a caramel iced latte with skim milk from Panera and a piece of bread. How did I feel afterwards ? Content. Satisfied. For dinner I shared a chicken caesar salad and a piece of bread with my boyfriend and drank a cup of water. I felt satisfied then too. 

It was quite an eye opener when I realized that I’ve been attempting to bury my emotional discomfort and trauma with food. It never occurred to me that instead of trying to eat away the pain, sitting with it and allowing myself to listen to the messages my body was sending me would be a better alternative. It had never occurred to me that I used food in that way until now. 

I wonder what other messages my body has for me…

Age 26: What’s My Focus?

By grace I am still alive. By grace I keep moving. I cry at the drop of a hat these last few days, realizing so much about myself and the way in which I view the world. I want to know what it means see self-love in action. One of the things I know is that I like myself. I think I carry some really great attributes and that I put in the effort to be the best person I can be and to develop myself. I like me. I care enough about myself to keep going and I enjoy my own company. But I feel like in the past I have done the right things for the wrong reasons.

To love oneself is to be happy with the person you are, to celebrate who you are, to feel a sense of completeness in your own being, because you exist. Not because you are expecting some sort of reward or social recognition by doing so. To love oneself means to look at myself in the mirror and allow myself to see who I truly am and to appreciate what’s staring back at me in the mirror because what I see is beautiful. It means to really see myself and love her as a beautiful reflection of the Divine from a place of knowing, not expecting others in the world to validate this knowledge.

I’d like to focus on self-love.

Listen to Your Body

My time in DC, primarily in the NICU, keeps coming up for me. It was a particularly difficult time for me but served as a another turning point in my understanding of mind, body, heart, and spirit. I think the reason my difficult year in that NICU keeps coming up , despite leaving and now experiencing far greater joy in my current circumstance, is because I have yet to fully integrate the experience. There’s something in it that needs to be shared. I spent almost a decade working and going to school in DC. Long enough for me to know that…maybe I don’t want to go back. In order to survive my time in DC, I had to do one thing: ignore my body’s messages.

What I just said is the antithesis of everything I want to implore others to do. Ignoring my body led to state of utter confusion, inner turmoil, days of crying, difficult work situations that I did NOT need to be in, anxiety, difficulty forming sentences, fear of communicating with others, added stress, binge eating, and weight gain in order to cope and numb the signals my body was sending me. I didn’t listen because I was afraid that listening to my body would result in ruining my future and negatively impact my [then] goals. It was a lesson I needed to learn in trusting myself and in the Divine to guide me to where I need to be. Another lesson in surrender, in listening, and because I had left this difficult situation only to return, a lesson in learning to let go and not look back.

Not too long ago during a late night introspection not to different from this one, I asked myself how I could deepen my own awareness of Self and God. “How can I come further in contact with what I really am?” I asked. And the answer was, “Come into your body and regain awareness of it. Remain present. It’s all there.”

I recently attended a CPR certification class in an area not far from where I spent almost a decade of the first part of my adult life. As I’ve been working on remaining present and aware in my body and of its messages (a task that has been somewhat uncomfortable for me as the sensation of other people can make me want to hide away in my safe place), two things became abundantly clear to me:

  1. This was not somewhere I needed to be for long.
  2. I am not going back to DC for a good long while if I can help it.

All the years I spent experiencing DC, I failed to realize the impact it had on my own energy over time. Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE the museums and scenery. But there’s some places I’d rather just visit. I’m sure many will say the same about where I choose to call home. Some people prefer the city life or the hustle and bustle of DC living and that’s okayBut so is my own preference for staying the heck away. My time in the NICU showed me that even though those within the situation might rave about how great it is, it doesn’t mean it’s all that great for me. One of the things I do note about my time in the NICU was that I felt this overwhelming undercurrent of anger and discontent that made me want to run and fix it all at once.

I realized people gossiped about me. My entire time in DC was me feeling like someone, somewhere had something nasty to say behind my back which became readily apparent in the way people would look at me or blank me out when I came in the room. I hated that nightmare scene. And it made me realize that some people are not aware of just how crooked they are. And it hurt me. It’s part of the reason why I stopped paying attention to my body and its messages in an attempt to cope with the difficult situations I was in there. I felt pressure to conform and yet didn’t want to conform. I just wanted to be myself. But my entire time there was spent feeling like who I was as a black woman and as a human being and reflection of the Divine didn’t fit in with the standard, the norm, or what was expected. I have no intention of ever returning.

Observing The “Monkey Mind”

I’ve been gone for a while. I know. But I never stopped writing. I’ve just been finding my core and purpose in my life again. The last few years has felt like one very long “phase” where I’ve had to find balance and surrender. As someone who learned long ago about the power of manifestation (without really knowing the words), letting go hasn’t been easy for me and for a long time I lost my way, constantly fighting with myself.

I use to think that I had to constantly act on life in order to make things how I want them to be. There were so many ideas that I carried that kept me in situations that I don’t necessarily want or even really need to be in. Through meditation, I’ve observed so much about myself, many of which I’ve kept a journal on, but that I will not transcribe here. But one thing I did observe was my desire to constantly want to exert my own power on life instead of allowing the Divine to work through me.

I’ve been observing the way in which my ego mind continues to attempt to maintain control by sending images that create fear in me. It morphs. It attempts to distract me, to show me the ways in which I need it. Yesterday, it sent me images that exerted the need for testing and bill paying saying what am I going to do if it didn’t remind me? How would I remain out of debt and continue my benefits if it didn’t exert its pressure? It tried to justify the need to constantly be in a state of action and doing. I was tempted to react, especially as my heart began to race with all the images it sent me. But I chose to sit and observe.

Letting Go of Attachment to Institutions

institution

from uni-log.org

Over the last few months, I’ve been having a growing dissatisfaction with my career and specialty. It hit an all time high two weeks ago. So I packed my bags and went to Trinidad. I needed to get away. Something about my life felt very unnatural. When I came back from Trinidad and returned to work, the feeling compounded. I’ve been trying to understand this. Why do I always start something with huge amounts of enthusiasm only to hate it 3-4 months later? This is my pattern. Tennis, Track, Field hockey, Travel nursing, Med surg, Nursing school, Nursing, middle school, high school, I always start off super excited only to find myself despising what I do later and wanting to quit. Now it’s the NICU. “I’m so over it”.

I keep saying that that these experiences make me feel institutionalized and unnatural. I certainly don’t feel free. There’s so many rules, so many expectations on how I’m suppose to act or say or do or dress. In nursing, many hospitals make it so that you HAVE to say specific things to your patients. You have a mantra you have to repeat and it’s so robotic. Sometimes in social settings within these organizations, there’s the expectation that one has to be a certain way in order to fit. What about my creativity? What about my freedom?

This has always been something I struggle with. Not feeling like I belong in any particular institution or system and knowing that I’m an outcast, even when I have a good relationship with everyone else there. I keep coming back, hoping something will change within them, that maybe I’ll find a mainstream system that works for me and allows me to contribute while still feeling natural. But once again, I feel like I’m being asked to let go.

 

 

 

 

Take Ownership of Your Soul

finding-your-true-self-or-authentic-self

The thing about ourselves is that our real selves is not one giant bundle of good traits. Coming face to face with who you are, you discover that it’s not always this perfect tapestry of pure goodness and beauty. I know we all want to believe that we are, but we aren’t. We’re multifaceted. Who I am is a full array of many things and while they’re not all good, I don’t consider myself a “bad” person.

Recently, I renounced my vows to follow a certain prescribed spiritual path while refusing to take up another. Why? Because I discovered that doing so was necessary in order to grow and to embrace myself in its entirety. It came down to ownership. I don’t want to have anyone or anything controlling me anymore. And I felt as though spirituality as I knew it and defined it was holding me back. I felt trapped because I found myself changing and yet unable to truly embrace those changes because the old me and the old ideas I carried limited that growth. Example: Lately, I’ve found myself wanting to be a part of this world and to engage in it with much focus, to learn from it. But because of my old ideas and desire to “leave” this world (because that’s what you do when you’re ‘spiritual’ and ‘evolving’), it felt like I was pushing against the grain in order to do what I wanted to do. It felt like my intuition and I were no longer in sync and I think it’s because my intuition and I really weren’t in sync. Intuition is not always right. Honestly, I think my intuition was trying to guide me in the direction of my old desires and was not focused on helping me embrace the new, undiscovered, untouched, sides of myself. It just felt like everything in my life was geared towards sacrifice, lowliness, and servitude, ideas which no longer align with what I believe and feel to be absolute truth in my heart (though on some level still a part of who I am). I felt like there was more to life than this. And there is.

The truth is that while I have found “spirituality” as many know it, to be entertaining and enlightening, it’s not one dimensional. I need to do this my own way. For one thing, I want sex, not to sit in deep meditation, or to go inward to discover who I am. I’m listening to my body and I feel for sex. The ascetic life, which I had once sought after and held as the gold standard of true growth and spirituality, does not support this. I’m not wrong for wanting sex. But to carry deeply held beliefs about the value and virtue of the ascetic lifestyle over all else is to create a barrier within myself that keeps me from experiencing what I need. A barrier which will keep me from experiencing other aspects of myself and will prevent all sides of me to exist in one life form.

The new me which I am now getting to know is hungry. It knows that while it’s important to trust one’s intuition to listen to one’s heart that neither is always right. And that’s something that not many people today want to acknowledge. Your intuition is not always right. But then again, it’s not about being right. It’s about learning. Which is why I choose focus, determination, and to listen to myself. And if choosing to be my own boss by taking ownership of myself and my soul growth is what I need, then so be it.