Day 5, 6 & 7. One week down, three to go.

My brother called my this morning and almost immediately said “you didn’t blog last night, did you?” I did not, nor the night before. It was a conscious choice and an interesting one.

Friday I was just burnt out and didn’t have much to talk about either personally or challenge-ly so I didn’t write, then on Saturday when I woke up, I was actually inspired to blog. So I did, I wrote half to three quarters of a blog and then just decided it sucked and wouldn’t publish it, nor finish it.

My aunt called me a few days ago and one of the first things she said to me, cautiously, was “wow, you’re really hard on yourself.” I laughed. I do remember knowing that about myself and I am trying to identify it in the moment and potentially be able to change the narrative. It was just a funny observation. And true. She made sure to mention it was okay if I missed a day or two of blogging, I agreed.

Normally during my annual 30 day challenge, I try to squeeze as much change into the process as possible. Originally I had expected that with this one, however once I started work last week and realized I wasn’t in a routine yet and my body was still adjusting, I realized I would have to take this one a little differently.

First and foremost this challenge is about the food to me. Like usual, every year I just get kind of sick of feeling like crap and realize my diet matches that of a teenager. Alongside working at the restaurant, it got really bad to the point where I was only eating one, maybe two meals a day on work days. Days off I would eat whatever I wanted because I knew I could never go over my weekly calories.

In a pure mathematical way of calories in, calories out I broke even for the past 6 months or so. Even eating once a day a few days a week and then eating nachos and bagels or take out for 2 or 3 days and I never lost or gained a pound in 6 months. I didn’t feel healthy though and my stomach has a lot of issues with a bad diet. Especially dairy, it just does not agree with me but it is just so tasty.

That’s why I do the challenge. Because for me, without a challenge and forcing myself to do something I would let myself slip. Letting myself slip here or there always ends up the same – big slips, as in days or weeks or months. Growing up I was a binge eater and an emotional eater. Technically I am still both, kind of like other addicts, the label sticks with you even when you have your addiction under control.

I worked really hard on not binge eating. That was a hard one for me and I think I was in my mid twenties when I got that in order. Sometimes I slip and I definitely still have the mentality to binge eat. I always buy grapes when I am eating healthy because it’s easy to binge eat them and not feel too full or too guilty. There will be a natural lull with grapes where I just put them away, there is no natural lull with pizza or chocolate covered pretzels and I eat it all and feel like I could pop.

Overeating is one of the grossest feelings. Mentally, physically, emotionally it just is a dark, gross feeling. I don’t mean the having too much at Thanksgiving feeling, I mean literally feeling so full that I felt like the guy that got killed for gluttony in the movie Seven.

Anyway, I stopped eating that much. It amazes me that now I will be eating something – like my new famous bacon, egg and potato scrambler and at some point it just sort of clicks that I’m full and don’t need any more. So then I just put it down. I’ve gotten like this with all food. It’s hard sometimes with sweets/baked goods. Like, c’mon, who’s going to eat half a piece of cake? It’s impossible, cake should be eaten. Cake doesn’t usually sneak up on a person so when I know I’m having cake, I’m even more diligent not to over eat so that there’s plenty of room for the sweet treat. It’s called priorities.

Another reason I didn’t blog this weekend is I wanted to collect my thoughts. I didn’t do anything this weekend. As in I went to go pick up groceries on Friday night and haven’t left my apartment since. I didn’t need to. The guilt started to creep in yesterday to which I responded by telling myself that I would absolutely leave my apartment on Sunday. Then when I woke up this morning, I just didn’t have any burning desire to do anything.

I wondered if it was depression or something along those lines. I thought about going for a hike but after the pouring rain the past few days figured the trails would be muddy. I didn’t want to force myself out of the house just for the sake of going out, so I decided to stay in. I opened the windows and turned on all the fans to get the air circulating. I spent the day reading by my bedroom window with good music playing softly in the background.

Today I decided to read this self help book that was recommended to me about 6 years ago by this woman I met randomly on this small island next to Bali. We were at the same restaurant and she was with two other women and they all were American, so I must have said something to them because the 4 of us became friendly over the next few days. At least, we always met for dinner at that same place to discuss what travelers discuss – life, love, the search for meaning and purpose. You know, the usual light hearted dinner chat.

The book is called “Asked and it is Given” by Jerry and Esther Hicks. If you’re into that whole alternative lifestyle, metaphysical, hippy dippy shit then you may be familiar with them. I am fairly into that stuff but I hadn’t heard of them, then. I got the book when I returned back to the states and never read it. I kept it near for the right time though and I feel like now may be the right time.

Our chat on a small island in Indonesia was about our inner demons and manifesting the life you want. Obviously there were about 3000 other things we all discussed, but these were the two big take aways for me. The woman told me she had come to Bali for a few months to do a sort of find herself, meet a Shaman, Eat – Pray – Love type thing, as did the other two women as well. While I had come for the beaches and the small hope of running into a Shaman on the side of the road, I just wanted to go to Bali. These women were really on a mission.

So, I believe she had meetings with a Shaman at that point. Several meetings. I believe she even tried to get the same one from the movie but… he was booked. So she found another and started her journey. She told me while she was in Bali she met a guy that sold her shrooms. She wanted to take a trip to meet her demons.

She told me about her trip. She had a friend come over to trip-sit for her and she ate the mushrooms, put on her headphones and invited the demons out. Obviously we didn’t go into great detail as this was the most personal thing a person could talk about. It was the process I was interested in, I was so envious that I didn’t have the opportunity to do something so intense. She offered to get me mushrooms on that tiny island. I declined for two reasons: 1) No way did I feel comfortable tripping with strangers in a foreign country 2) Indonesia is a large Muslim country and I had just come from Australia where the top story for the previous month was Australians smuggling drugs and the Indonesian government wanting to put them all to death. Obviously not the same things, but I’ve never been big on breaking the rules.

The other part of our conversation was about manifesting what you want out of life. She told me about Jerry and Esther Hicks and some of the things they teach. At the time all of this really resonated with me and I thought I found a way to unblock whatever it was I was feeling blocked with. I always wanted to travel for a multitude of reasons but there was always a big part of me that was constantly searching for something.

I don’t know exactly what it was that I was searching for. I’m pretty sure I never found it, I think I just stopped looking. I tried to summon the demons, without the aide of a major hallucinogenic and to no avail. Her story was such a specific visual. Her demons, to me, looked like the monsters at the end of the first Ghostbusters. The gargoyle monster dogs on the roof. I think they just seem kind of scary in general and therefore I would probably need the help of hallucinogenics in order to come face to face with them.

I realize this is already an incredibly long blog and I don’t have a lesson in it for you. This is just something that recently came back up in thought for me and this is what I’ve spent the majority of my weekend thinking about. I did also spend a lot of time catching up on This Is Us which always seems to have a few parallels to my life.

There is one scene in the show when the daughter, Kate and her mother, Rebecca are in the pool and Rebecca says to her just let go of everything she’s holding. She says just release all the weight she’s holding on to and all the burden and baggage, the mom says something like “give it to me, I can carry it.”

That put a very specific image into my head of baggage full of all the crap we carry around with us just attached to us at all times. In the show Kate is extremely overweight and she commented on how the pool makes her feel weightless, so I thought of how the burden of the baggage would also be weightless. I just imagine these gigantic suitcases, like the one George Bailey gets in “It’s a Wonderful Life” which is like three feet long. Imagine carrying, or TRYING to carry 3 or 4 of those of all the shit you hold on to about your life that just really holds no value and is not worth nothing to anyone.

I thought about what it would feel like to walk into a pool with all of that weight. To walk immediately down to the deep end, drowning from the weight of it all. To only then realize that it was all weightless, and if I just let go and let my hands be free I could easily float back to the top. It just seemed so easy and so freeing.

I had a quick catch up with my brother this morning as he was on his way to our mom’s house. Later in the afternoon I called my mom because I needed emergency meat loaf help and she mentioned that my brother said I had been struggling but found my way out. I stopped and kind of laughed to myself and said “well, I haven’t quite found my way out yet.” It’s true though, I haven’t quite found my way out and I haven’t quite let go of it all. I’m still in the deep end, holding on to all those suitcases.

I do however feel like the big release is coming soon. I don’t know how it works and I don’t know if there actually is a big release or like other things it just fades into the background and things just change. Growth doesn’t ever happen overnight it is always in small pieces. My brother had a similar experience a few years ago. He was able to drop his baggage and get away from it. He said it was amazing. So I’m hoping for something like that. I’m ready and I want to drop the baggage and run like hell.

This weekend I noticed that I never felt full. It wasn’t that I never felt full, it was that I never felt quenched or satisfied. I had great food all weekend and stuck to Whole 30 relentlessly, even though I probably could have eaten a whole pizza, side of wings and some brownies. I made great food like spaghetti squash with some nice grass fed ground beef and a tomato sauce that I made from a can of crushed tomatoes and spices. I couldn’t find a sauce with out sugar, so I made one. I was really quite proud as I have never put that much effort into pasta sauce before. The dinner was delicious and today I had the leftovers for lunch.

For breakfast I obviously had my bacon-egg-and-potato scrambler, that is now famous because I’ve mentioned it 6 times in 4 blogs. For dinner tonight I made my very 2nd meatloaf. I found the answer to the riddle I posed the other day – pork rinds. Instead of bread crumbs or flour or something just add chicharrones as they are apparently Whole 30 approved. They are pork rinds and salt and you just crush them all up (they do have them pre packaged like pork crumbs but they were sold out) the bag cost $1 and I didn’t taste them other than noticing that the meatloaf was absolutely delicious. I used ground turkey and ground beef and mixed in some egg, pork rinds, onions, coconut aminos, mustard, ketchup and a non measured array of Italian seasonings. I put some broccoli in the over while the meat loaf was cooking, so that will be my lunch for the week and I am looking forward to it.

Like I said, I ate really well this weekend and despite being in a weird mood I didn’t falter at all. This is where making sure your house doesn’t have easily accessible tempting snacks on hand. I do have chocolate chips and peanut butter in the cupboard, which is what I would normally eat in a sweet tooth pinch, but I’m feeling strong with sticking to the challenge. It was curious that I felt so unsatisfied this weekend.

I think the feeling of “hunger” wasn’t for food, it was that weird emptiness and quench for something that I haven’t felt in years. That was the feeling that led me to drink a lot when I was in my early 20s and eat a lot in my mid 20s. I have spent a lot of time feeling incomplete, empty, not whole, missing something just there’s always been a void. I think I know how to fill that void now, finally. However it’s just not something that happens quickly or not in my own time. I can just will it be or even manifest my completion.

I have to figure out how to drop these bags. I need to come face to face with the gargoyle monster dogs and I guess prove to myself that they won’t eat me alive. Another element is that all of a sudden this past year this task, this release, this awakening whatever it could possibly be feels urgent. Like in a dream when you hear the alarm go off, but you don’t quite realize that yet.

I did get a few things done around the house and cleaned my kitchen, organized some more stuff and finished a project I started a year ago. A fiery piece with a poem that I wrote also about a year ago. Again, having to do with that conversation 6 years in Indonesia. I literally made a sign saying it was time to go.

Some of you that read this are good friends of mine, so it’s sort of like writing you a letter. Others are complete strangers that have either followed the blog or stumbled across it and I’m not sure what reading something like this would be like. Super thought vomit, since this was not what I had intended to write about. It’s like as much as I plan a blog a head of time, once I sit down at the keyboard it always takes on a life of its own. It’s hard to share out into the abyss because this one in particular is pretty personal.

I wish I could do a survey at the end of the blog like

Which would you rather read more of:

My existential wonderings

General, but light hearted musings

Whole 30 menu with roses and thorns of the challenge only

Spaghetti squash with ground beef and sugar free tomato sauce!
Meat loaf and broccoli
World famous bacon-egg-and-potato scrambler
Acrylic swipe painting with poem.

2 thoughts on “Day 5, 6 & 7. One week down, three to go.

  1. Try filling in the worksheets I gave you. Nothin to lose! I love you and I’m very proud of you!! Thanks for sharing your demons with us!!

  2. I’m catching up on the blog (at the end of my work day) and wanted to leave a note. I love it all, the musings, the enlightenment, the wonder and the recipes! When I read these… I laugh, I cry, I sigh, I learn or I feel like I’m just sitting with you in the living room and talking about this in person. Either way – I’m connected and always here for it! Love you sisterfriend! #ohana

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