Last week was particularly difficult emotionally, and I almost didn’t write this week. As you can see from the mix of subjects in today’s title, I’ve done quite a bit of self reflection over the past week which is what I’ve decided to focus on in today’s post.
Last week I said I would no longer make excuses and would be ‘pushing’ to exercise in order to reach my goals. The problem is, that type of mentality is exactly what got me sick in the first place. For many years I was on autopilot, going in all directions pushing forward and didn’t stop until my body said – NO MORE.
Last Friday, shortly after I published the blog I felt an incredible amount of pressure and overwhelm. For days before, I had felt a low level of emotional angst but was unknowingly trying to suppress those feelings, and by Friday I was putting unneeded pressure on myself to meet deadlines I created for this blog, which takes many hours of time each week.
I had a lot going on:
- Certain issues came up earlier in the week that left me feeling alone making big decisions
- I was putting unneeded pressure on myself to make Halloween fun for my kids
- Started a new therapy (Safe & Sound)
- Was pushing myself to start working on my nutrition course that honestly was feeling more intense than anticipated with all the science
- Was placing a lot of pressure on myself to figure out why I wasn’t losing weight, exercise more, share content by certain times each week and push myself to practice speaking on camera
- Also, I’m a stay at home mom who’s been actively looking for work for months and was still applying to jobs
That’s a lot for one person to handle in ONE week, and I left some things out!
Over the past couple years I’ve learned how the following states can trigger emotional dysregulation for those with CPTSD in particular, and this is absolutely the case for me:
The magnitude of things I had on my plate and the idea that they all had to be done at once was causing me to feel very overwhelmed.
(2) Feeling Alone
The week prior started with a situation that caused me to feel alone in making major life decisions and led to me focusing on the many areas in life where I feel alone and unsupported.
I was feeling some fear about my new therapy – not knowing how I’d respond, fear about the state of the world, fear of judgement and criticism around my blog, and certain noises like arguing and yelling can cause me to feel unsafe.
Full Moon Energy
By the time it was Halloween, I felt all three triggers above and the intensity of the full moon energy made for a perfect storm. My emotional release was extremely intense.
The sound of my kids arguing with each other put me over the edge and I became dysregulated causing one of the hardest cries I’d had in a while which didn’t stop until more than an hour later.
I had read online the full moon was at its peak just a half hour before this experience, and I thought wow I’m REALLY in tune with the energy! I’ve since learned it actually took place a few hours before and must have looked at the wrong time zone but wouldn’t that be funny. I’m sensitive to planetary alignments as it is, but not quite to the minute!
Being in that emotional state isn’t easy. I feel a loss of control over my emotions which can feel scary and my mind can spiral. The experience itself feels overwhelming on top of the overwhelm that contributed to dysregulation so the amount of emotions all at once cause me to feel like something is wrong with me. It’s not until I calm down where I can objectively look at the situation.
I end up feeling shame, often feel embarrassed, and always try to explain the situation to the kids with hopes they don’t feel responsible for my response. Seeing a parent cry isn’t easy, but I want to stay transparent with them so they can learn the tools to deal with things as they are otherwise life will be that much harder for them as they get older.
After learning to suppress my emotions growing up and being on an antidepressant my entire adult life until 3 years ago, when I go through these experiences it can feel like an enormous obstacle in the moment. I’ve had to relearn what all emotions truly feel like, learn to tune in to how I feel around people and environments, why and how I think and also learn to fully connect with myself.
Once calmed down, I’m able to get back to regular life activities but feel tired and usually have an emotional hangover for a couple days where I need to allow myself to feel the exhaustion. That’s when I can go into some dark thinking but I try not to stay there by moving my body, listening to music and/or using many of the healing tools. If I don’t eat well, it only further contributes to the depressed feeling and I’ve noticed the direct correlation between the food I eat, my moods and how quickly I can recover.
It’s not a pleasant experience but it forces me to take the time afterwards to really go within, recalibrate and usually come out the other side with some a-ha moments or motivation to change something. For example, my overwhelm can often be attributed to a lack of boundaries and the experience can help me see where I need to put more boundaries in place.
More TRUTH About Sharing My Journey
What I shared in a previous post about why I started this journey was true, but I wasn’t being completely honest with myself yet. At the end of summer I was feeling a lot of grief and I figured this was typical since I feel this way every year at the end of that season. This year though, the summer months allowed us to step away from many of the Covid restrictions and so I was also grieving the loss of some freedom.
There have been many things beyond my control since before Covid that directly affect my ability to thrive, and the increased restrictions during Covid have been very challenging, as I’m sure it is for most people. I know I’m not alone with this.
As September approached, I was feeling frustrated and tired of feeling helpless while waiting for things to change outside of me and decided I’d try to change what I could, which led me to the nutrition course and sharing my own weight loss journey. In my mind, it seemed like an easy solution given my past successes and I thought it could be fun, could learn and focus on something positive, but I didn’t realize how much time it would really take. As I’m writing this now, I’m recognizing my old overworking habit resurfaced to avoid all of my discomfort.
What I also found myself doing during recent weeks was subconsciously trying to achieve some level of perfection. As we know, perfection comes from a need for control to ultimately feel safe. I was trying achieve MY perfect body, perfect the process I was taking and how I was sharing it. I could feel myself slipping back into feeling the need to say or do things a certain way and it didn’t feel good or reflect who I really am. It’s also been really hard to notice how I disassociate when I record videos of myself and the impact that has on me sharing. Actually seeing my disassociation with my own eyes has been really difficult.
Since leaving the marketing industry after many years, I’ve recognized how that industry perpetuates perfectionism and I feel so much lighter when I don’t feel that pressure. Perfect is just not real and it’s what makes so many of us emotionally and mentally ill!
It’s still challenging at times since I’ve been programmed my entire life to aim for perfection, but my goal now is to simply share. However messy that looks.
Change cannot happen until we fully ACCEPT what is
Physically, I’m now doing intense therapy to help heal my nervous system while having other stressors so it’s not realistic for me to increase my exercise too much. If I really want to lose weight, I’m better off reducing calories at a reasonable pace that feels less overwhelming. Reality is, I still don’t enjoy cooking no matter how many times I try or trick myself into believing I do.
For my food choices, I’ve mentioned previously I was very particular and restrictive when it came to food choices and ingredients before starting this journey but allowing myself to move away from the rigidness has helped me to learn the balance that works for me. I’m sensitive to foods so high vibe full colour foods make me FEEL good whereas processed or low quality ingredients are heavy and directly affect my mood. As much as I would love to be able to eat whatever and whenever I want, a whole foods diet with high quality ingredients majority of the time works best for me with the occasional junk food.
I thought the time frame to meet my weight loss goal would be realistic, but given where I am with my healing it just isn’t. Not right now anyway. I’m using this opportunity to remind myself that my weight doesn’t change who I am or my worthiness, even though I know I’d physically feel and look much better. I’ve had to shift my priorities and this week I decided not to focus on calories and instead focus on getting back up.
Over recent years, my healing has become a priority and self care is a part time job with some days being full time. As I stumbled into my old overworking habits, my body quickly told me and I need to take things one day at a time. This is my reality.
On Tuesday while starting to see the light, I thought about ways I could add more fun, joy and social connection that’s desperately needed in my life.
My interest in acting and modelling started as a teenager but I didn’t pursue it out of fear of other’s opinions, and then briefly dipped my toes in voice acting a couple years ago but it wasn’t the right time. I’ve taken some singing lessons and earlier this year signed up for an adult acting class but it got cancelled due to Covid.
I’ve wondered if it’s just not meant to be especially after learning this year about the corruption in Hollywood. I became really sceptical about the entire acting and music industry as a whole and while there is indeed a lot of corruption (everywhere, really) I was looking at the industry through and all or nothing lens instead of recognizing there are still decent and good people in those industries too. I also can’t seem to shake the desire to perform!
So, I decided just for fun I’d do a voice acting class online through Second City and see how that goes. It’s one day a week for 4 weeks, and hopefully it’ll provide some much needed FUN!
The same day I went for a trial jump rope class and visited the owner who was my jump rope partner many years ago while on a competitive jump rope team. ‘Skipping’ as we called it was a big part of my childhood so it helped to bring back my childlike joy, and it’s always nice to reconnect with people we haven’t seen in a long time.
Jumping rope for an hour felt good, and I could still do many of the tricks! Made me think about doing the jump rope challenge on YouTube, but we’ll see.
The following day, I started Christmas shopping which reminded me just how much I love to shop for others! I love the hunt to find the best quality products for the cheapest price while making others happy. This brings me joy! The minimalist in me feels conflicted at times but I feel it’s a delicate balance. Right now, and always really, I feel the need to embrace as much joy as possible.
Yesterday after sharing my quest for joy with my therapist, she mentioned Dr. Dan Siegel has what’s called a Healthy Mind Platter that helps to show the activities needed in a day to achieve a healthy mind. Thought I’d share in case it can help someone…
Week 6 Weigh In
I continued to enter my foods in MyFitnessPal out of habit but I didn’t eat well this week. I emotionally ate and indulged in Halloween treats on the day and a couple days afterwards so this week I’m sharing total calories but not the foods.
For this week’s weigh in, I’m back up to 178.2.
|WEEK 6 – FOOD & EXERCISE SUMMARY||CALORIES||EXERCISE||YOGA|
|Friday||3013||15 min core video|
|Saturday||1868||Walk in neighbourhood||12 min|
|Sunday||1753||33 min walk||7 min|
|Tuesday||1631||22 min walk|
|Thursday||2174||House work||21 min|
|WEIGHT LOSS – /GAIN +||+1.5 lbs||178.2 lbs|
|PREVIOUS WEEK||176.7 lbs|
|Total cal/lbs lost since starting Sep 25 and 178.6 lbs:||–1,400 cal||-0.4 lbs|
Overall, the past few weeks have been an enlightening experience to dive deeper into my patterns, thoughts and behaviours. Would love to know your thoughts, if you relate, and/or if there’s something you’d like me to expand on or explain!