Leftover Hurricane Katrina MRE’s and Soulmates

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“I could relate to the part about eating spoiled food.. not initially, because it grossed me out.  I remember craving sugar soooo bad and being on a diet. There wasn’t any in the house.  I remember finding the half of a container of chocolate frosting, from that cake I had baked months ago.  I remember eating a little spoon of it to get my fix.  To get that sweet sugar embedded in all the preservatives.. that sweet sugar that somehow melts and swims around in the pits of my mouth.. prodding each and every taste bud.. seducing them until they want more.  I don’t know if that container was expired, but who in their right mind eats spoonfuls of month old opened frosting from  the pantry?  No one.. that’s the point.. the insanity is real.”

I could see the heads nodding as I spoke.  They were relating.  They were each reliving a memory of a time that they too had eaten something spoiled, or craved something that much.  The insanity of this disease is indeed real.  I shared about how I had gone thru every nook and cranny of my house, to throw food away that would never fit into  my new menu.  It’s what I had to do to get clean and sober.  I had to flush that pound of marijuana.  I had to throw away the vodka, the frozen gallons of daiquiris, and the loose alka pops.  The same thing applied here.  Anything that was packaged, processed, or didn’t fit into this plant based menu.. it had to go.  Initially I had started creating a side pile of food that I could give to my friend down the street.. she had kids, and I wouldn’t want it to go to waste.  I have such a HUGE hang up about food going to waste.  I set another pile aside of “Community food” for the travelers coming thru.  I remember the broke days of traveling, and how a pack of noodles, some butter, and maybe some cheese would constitute dinner.. all of which I had found in the cupboards of the hostel, left behind by previous  travelers.  My  friend came over, and I started to go thru each box of macaroni and can of soup to see if she wanted it.  It suddenly occurred to me that I had never bought mac and cheese.  I don’t like mac and cheese, and that was there from my ex… THREE YEARS AGO!  By the time we were done, there was barely anything left in the house.. which is good! Anything that is healthy for me wouldn’t last long anyway, and i am only one person.  I don’t need a pantry full of food.  A fridge and freezer stocked to full capacity.  But what would people say? They’d think I was poor.. that I can’t afford to eat… Where the fuck did that belief come from?

So what was I saving it for?  Hurricane Katrina 2? My fear of some day running out of food dictated so many of my decisions in the way I purchased food.  I had to have a variety of food to satisfy my cravings.. of course I always seemed to crave something I didn’t have, that led me back to the store, where I ultimately bought a ton of crap I didn’t need to eat.  I had to make sure I always had enough food in the house.  I still had MRE’s from hurricane Katrina!! 10 years ago, i hadn’t eaten them in the most desperate situation of my life… and yet somehow I thought an apocalypse would come, and my means of survival would be this box of military rationings that had been delivered during the aftermath!!!!!!!

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What in the actual fuck goes on in my mind?? These are actual thoughts that have floated on by and been accepted into my perception of normal behavior.  Like, how does that thought ever get past the gate?  It’s this little fucker of a disease.. the disease of compulsive eating.. the disease that HAS to know the plan for eating, or my whole world gets flipped upside down.  It’s the insanity of the mountains of clothes in various sizes because i will always need each size at some point in the weight loss gain cycle of my life.  It’s the insanity of the pain, torture, mental anguish and self hate that comes with the consequences of compulsive eating.. and yet I still want that fucking chocolate bar… its like russian roulette wrapped in foil every time.  The inner war that comes with this disease drives people to suicide.. every day.  That battle in the mirror every morning.  Am I going to love myself or hate myself today?  Seeing that reflection is certainly a handicap.. but when I look into the mirror.. can I look past the roll of fat? Can I look past the little black hairs that keep growing on my chin.. the same hairs I remember my great gran having… can I look past the scars where blades have severed the skin, and cigarettes have burned holes? Can I look past wrinkles that are beginning to appear around my eyes?  The wrinkles that remind me I’m getting older, and still alone.  Can I look past the tattoos of manic nights where it sounded like a great idea and the missing teeth from drunken brawls?  If I can just get past that, then I have a shot.. because past the looks of my vessel lies my soul.. my heart.. my love for the universe around me.. and that is what’s important.

This was a perfect example to file under “evidence”.   I HAD survived Katrina! I survived without needing those MRE’s.  My higher power had provided a way.  He sent me to work in a store that had small shipments coming in.  A store in a less effected area.  A store with an RV in the parking lot that had a generator or some means of cooling.  My higher power took me out of the trenches to a place that I could be of assistance to others.. and I was!  I went above and beyond extending myself wherever I could, all in the name of rebuilding what we had all lost, and THAT came from my soul.  THAT is what I am made of.  That I would give the shirt off of my back, and I have.. because I know that I will be provided for.  That same higher power will be with me always, providing my needs.. so that I can continue being my purpose.  I won’t check out of this place until my purpose is completely served.. no matter what that road looks like.  For all I know, it could be to write this blog, that someone somewhere needs to read so they don’t jump off a bridge tonight?  Maybe saving that life in this moment is my purpose.. and that’s it.. ?  I personally hope I will be around a lot longer.  I believe that space time continuum carries on no matter what, and the way we are treating our planet.. I’m not sure how many lifetimes I want to stick around for.  What if how we treat this planet in this lifetime, determines the quality of the planet we are born to in the next?

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It’s the deep thinker that I am that I love.. and I hope to attract.. for those long conversations about the what ifs of life.. It is the familiarity of my soul that will attract the right partner to me.. not the exterior.  She is the other half of me, and that’s what matters to me the most.  Having said that, if that were true, then I wouldn’t be so concerned about my weight, and my outer appearance.  Maybe this is my lesson right now.. Learning to love myself unconditionally.. completely.

I sometimes wonder if the life my other half has been dealt this time is that of a straight man in Thailand or something of the sort.  Not all lifetimes are for learning and experiencing love like that tho.  Maybe this lifetime, my lessons are in the distant corners of our world? Maybe I’m not meant to meet a partner, and settle down like everyone else.  Maybe I am meant to make a difference, and leave my legacy???

Well.. if that is the case, then I’d better quit eating spoiled cake frosting, and preparing for Armageddon when it comes to food.. it’s not exactly like i have a stock pile of batteries, bottled water, and flashlights…

Thank God for step Two.. “we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity” Oh thank goodness!!! I don’t even have to be the one that restores my fucked up mind! My higher power is going to do that for me!  I just have to show up.  I just have to believe that a life outside of compulsive eating is possible for me.  I too, can recover.

 

Tonights artichoke eggplant pizza!

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What about protein?

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Lunch – I made bean soup last night.. And didn’t bother to make rice because I realized.. I only eat rice when it’s a meal that’s “supposed to have rice” .. And I’d much rather save the carbs for something I desire than a “just because”. I added hot sauce and it was good .. But it wasn’t like WOW factor!!!

Today I put some on a tortilla made of organic whole spelt .. On a bed of spinach topped with olives and tomatoes..


Note to self: black olives didn’t taste like they belonged in that one..
If anyone has some bean recipes.. I’m all ears!

#whataboutprotein

Celebrating 18 months of travel today while getting ready to leave for Greece!  Mentally, I’m not where I was when I left for Europe last year, but I’ll be in good company.. Positive thinking.. Picture what I want it to look like.. Getting out there and doing it… Haven’t been wanting to leave my house, so this feels a bit like a mountain.

 


Breakfast was a slam dunk!

 

 I just feel so hungry all the time.. And thirsty.. Sooooo thirsty!

Plant based “bread”!! Thank you Airbnb!

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I love the things I learn from the guests that come thru my home.  Last week I had guests from the mountains of North Carolina.  Seriously.. They are practically living off the grid, and were on a vacation from that lifestyle, into our lifestyle of Netflix with a side of beach.  Diane was so excited to find yucca root here at a bargain price.  

  
I’d seen it at the store, but had no idea how to cook it, or eat it, or what it was! She peeled it, and juiced it to bring the pulp home for tortillas the next day.  

So I decided to try this stuff out for myself..

  

I peeled the root and it produced the juice, the pulp, and a floury consistency inside the blades..

  
Then I made patties with the pulp, and added the floury stuff while heating up coconut oil in a pan.

  

   

Used another pan to heat up my last sneaky chickpea and carrot burger…  

Spread creole mustard on each yucca patty, added spinach, and pickles (I have a lack of mushrooms, and other toppers available at home right now)

Cut it into quarters.. And voila! A complete meal made out of vegetables, roots and beans! What!?! 

   

Rigorous Honesty.. I relapsed

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One week check in and I’ve gained 2lbs. This definitely isn’t something I want to post. Man how much power that has over me that I’ve never really thought about. That’s a fail.. And I don’t fail. Obviously that’s not true, but I can’t ever remember admitting when I failed at something.  
It reminds me of the time when someone told me “newsflash – you’re not perfect” and I’d like to fall out… 
“What do you mean I’m not perfect??? Yes I am.. What’s wrong with me?? What is it that has come out of alignment and needs my attention!??!!!” 
Like seriously… That isn’t an option for me, and I’ve never realized what a perfectionist I am.. Or can be.. Until now. In fact when friends have shared about being a perfectionist, I don’t relate at all.. I’m in THAT kinda denial. I mean there are places that prove I’m not. The state of my car. Oh my gosh does my car need cleaning?? It’s got bits of trees in it from the bonfire.. Fishing poles.. Camping equipment.. Dust and pollen.. I haven’t cleaned it since I’ve been home because in my mind I’m leaving soon.. Well I’ve been saying that for a month now, and I still have a week before I leave. See.. I’m not a perfectionist .. But now that I’ve admitted that about my car, I’m sure I’ll be washing the car today hahaha

  
Okay .. So week one .. I’ve gained 2lbs. I should totally quit and give up. Obviously this plant based diet isn’t working. Obviously all this hard work of shopping for recipe specific food, and cooking.. And blogging, and making meetings.. Obviously it isn’t working!! I’m doomed. I’m just doomed to always be fat.. I’m gonna be that person that gets cut from their house because the trips out have become fewer and farther between.. Grocery shops have been bigger and bigger .. And it just hurts too much to stand up and ask my skeleton to hold all of that weight, so I haven’t gotten out of bed in I don’t know how many years… 
Okay so that line of thinking isn’t gonna help me. Rigorous honesty.. That’s the only hope I have of this program working for me.. Which means I need to admit that I gained 2lbs.  
I need to reflect mindfully on the week, and the times that I didn’t abstain. The times that I sneaked and thought I’d still have a weight loss so no one would ever know. Wow… I did that. I had Mcdonalds for breakfast yesterday. I had chocolate while I was in New Orleans. Amber lived across the street from the best international market that I have found around here.. In the south. It has my English foods.. That I probably shouldn’t claim as my foods anymore.. But it has the custard powder.. It has the galaxy chocolate, and the malteasers.

  
 It has the steak and kidney pies, and then all the curry and spices you could ever wish to need. I went in there to get diced tomatoes and basil for the eggplant pizzas I was making for dinner.. 

  
But there it all was in all its glory and I just had to buy that galaxy selection box.. I mean it’s only there because it was just christmas, and it’s such a good deal.. English chocolate isn’t ever cheap over here even when we do find it. I bought the box and had eaten two of the 8 bars by the time Amber got home. We had dinner and then I decided they had to see how awesome this store was. They’d been living in walking distance from it for over a year. I even rationalized that we were walking there, so we were getting our exercise. Needless to say, more chocolate was bought, sampled, shared.. And the beast was awake. I ate another bar on the way home in the morning, stopped and had mcdonalds for breakfast.. Made quinoa and peas for lunch.. And was sure to share a picture of that healthy meal!

  
 I ate a bag of pretzels for a snack.. The family size bag.. Hmm what else .. The more I’m thinking the more I keep remembering eating. I made bean soup for dinner and didn’t eat any of it… I ate a bag of roasted chestnuts.. Two crab pâté sandwiches.. Then ordered dominos for movie night with Anthony.. Because he was hungry and hadn’t eaten all day. He looked frail. Looked like he hadn’t been eating since he moved out.. So we HAD to share a cheesybread and a Philly cheesesteak sandwich!  
… And here I am, wondering how I could’ve possibly gained two pounds? 
Okay.. So put the bat away. Celebrate the percentage of meals during this week that I did eat healthy, plant based food.. And keep walking towards 100% as the goal. I need to stop thinking in terms of fail or success.. Progress not perfection. This was a HUGE week! I grew my support network.. Found an OA sponsor (I prob should’ve called her at some point this weekend) I cooked four new plant based recipes that were really freaking good.. And even added a desert to that menu! Oh yea .. And left it in ambers freezer.. Ha.. Wow.. I brought my vegan choc dip, and forgot all about it once that craving was stirred. I made some meetings. I journaled about the noise in my head… And now admitting I am powerless over this beast.. From the moment that chocolate was in my range.. My defenses were down, and autopilot kicked in… Step one.. I’m powerless over compulsive eating, and my life becomes unmanageable. ✔️
What didn’t I do?
I didn’t call my sponsor.

I didn’t make a meeting in New Orleans. I looked them up, but there wasn’t one on a Friday .. Should’ve gone to an AA meeting instead… 

I went around “places and things” (English chocolate) 

I didn’t blog or talk about any of the noise that was going on in my head. 
Progress.. Not perfection. Week two.. Let’s do this!

Swedish Fish 0 – 1 Me

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Day 6 … I feel so fat today. I’ve been feeling healthier, smaller, standing taller.. just from the knowledge that I am putting healthy food into my body… but today I just feel plain fat.. My disease is on point today. I see my reflection and see no difference.. no weight loss on the scales, and that’s what I would be losing if I replaced today.. just had one bag of Swedish fish.. they are chewy enough.. they’d take longer to eat.. it would curb this craving.. I know.. We can walk to the dollar store.. that way we would burn the calories off that we are consuming and it would be a win win!

I know damn well that the last time that was the plan, I got to the bottom of the stairs, saw the car and said fuck it.. drove to the store, bought 5 bags of candy or so, drove home, locked myself back in my room, and opened each bag over the rest of the evening.. clearing the bag before I even knew it. The only moment that I had checked in and realized how much I was eating was if the bag was empty when I reached in for another one.

No.. I can’t just have one… that’s the whole point.. one turns into two, and they just start multiplying like rabbits. Even if I did just have one.. I’d want to do it again.. eventually.. I’d always want more.. its not like that one is THE ONE.. the one to end the cravings.. no.. it will never stop.. there’s no end goal for this.. I am walking away from sugar.. I am walking away from fast food.. I am breaking up with them.. and break ups SUCK!!! I mean, what is going to keep me company at the movie theatre now? What am I going to turn to when depression hits? Where am I going to hang out with my friends???? I already quit drinking.. now restaurants are too tempting… the grocery store is like a stealth black ops mission.. in.. grab the list.. and out.. without being seen.. all it takes is a brief encounter and the romance of it all.. it all comes whirling back, reminding me of our good times.. those moments where chocolate was really there for me. The fact that I can slow this inner battle down enough to rationally look at it in black and white, and reaffirm my commitment to complete abstinence from junk food, is amazing! That’s what I would be losing if I relapsed right now. I would be losing the little distance that I have put between me and this behavior. Not today… So I feel fat. I am fat.. I should be thankful I have moments when I don’t feel fat, because those are the moments I get to plug my attention into something else other than my self-consciousness. Those are the moments that I get to see the beauty around me, and think about others. Those are the moments that my mind is free enough to create. It’s not about the reflection. It’s not about the number on the scale. It’s about not wanting to die from some obesity related illness. It’s about freeing myself from the obsessive repetitive thoughts about how fat I am. It’s about freeing myself of the shame and embarrassment I have to go through.. every time I want to hang out with friends. It’s about loving me… and putting that chocolate bar in my mouth isn’t loving myself. It’s like putting a needle in my arm, or smoking crack. One won’t ever be enough, and that’s okay.. because now that my attention wont be on my health and my weight.. ill have room for new experiences in my life.. just like sobriety provided. Kinda excited!!!

Meeting makers make it.. Even if it’s just you!

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Tonight’s meeting was cancelled. I didn’t find out until I got here, and found no one. I called the number of been given at the last meeting and the lady told me that it was cancelled because of the monsoon outside. I almost didn’t come for the same reason, but I know I’ve driven thru this kinda weather to get to dollar general and buy a hoard of candy and chocolate.. and NA taught me that I have to chase my recovery like I chased the drug,.. Which means driving in monsoons to meetings!
  
  I’m so thankful for the peace I feel most of the time. I wasn’t even upset that no one was here. I thought about leaving, but what if another newcomer is on their way here.. Running late because of the rain? I decided to sit and take the quiet room to myself and read my OA book. Step Two. 
  Just as I started, a woman walked in. She thought it was Tuesday and I was here for the support group for Dr Balder. He’s a weight loss surgeon that I actually called and have been contemplating weight loss surgery with. We talked for a few minutes, and I found out that she is the office manager for the clinic. She took my information and invited me back to the support group tomorrow. Win win! 

  
  I’m feeling really motivated and confident today. I was prepared.. I had my dip that I made last night, and snacked on it thru the day while I stayed busy creating my art studio/mancave.. Then I stopped early enough to make chickpea burgers.. So I could eat and be full while out and about to the meeting and back. I don’t even remember seeing McDonald’s! 
  Tomorrow my guests leave so I’ll have the house to myself for a night.. Definitely time to celebrate.  
  Step Two’s first two pages just blow me away.. So I wanted to share them.. Maybe you guys might relate? I know that when I set a goal with others.. I have a greater chance of success because I’m the type of person that hates to admit defeat. Feedback welcome … Comment below .. I love you all! Everyone that reads and gives me feedback or cheers me on.. You guys rock! You keep me going.. And I’m so grateful for that!!! 

   

    
   
  

Welcome TO Overeaters Anonymous

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My name is Storme, and I’m a compulsive eater…

So I arrive at the address provided on the website.. Hancock Medical Center (please call to find out where in the hospital the meeting will be held).   It’s the same hospital that I had 5 of my 6 surgeries while fighting cancer.  The same hospital that saved my life.  I entered the outpatient entrance, but nobody was there.  “It’s Sunday” I thought. It was completely empty, and kinda eerie.  Weren’t people sick on Sundays? I took a left and headed down the corridor towards the nurses station, feeling nervous because I knew I would now have to admit to someone that I was looking for the Overeaters Anonymous meeting.. and by doing that, they’d know I was fat!   I say that because I want to describe how powerful my personal disease is.. the way I think.. like, I really believe in my mind that all the effort I go to to try and disappear somehow, works!  I really believe that if I wear an open jacket over my t shirt, that you’ll only see the tshirt.  I really believe that I suck my stomach in 24/7 .. and not just the moments that I am self conscious enough to suck in.  I believe that the person I imagine myself to be, is what you see.  I believe all the endearing feedback that I have ever heard.  I believe that “I look like I have lost weight” even though I know I have gained 30lbs since I last saw you.  I believe that I “look healthy”… even tho I walk with an arched back so that my stomach can be centered, and not in front of me.. so that I can balance.  I believe my selfies.. that that one angle that shows that sexy stud of a boi has the body to match.

I tell the nurse that I am looking for the OA meeting.  “The What?” she says.. loudly.. the nurse behind her looks up.. ugh.. more attention…

“The Overeaters Anonymous meeting.. it says it is in this hospital somewhere” I lean in and whisper.. urging her to be confidential about it.

“Ohh girl.. lemme call and find out for you.” She calls, and is given instructions on how to find the correct waiting room.  I hear her repeating them, and know exactly where that is.  It’s the waiting room next to the labor and delivery ward.  It’s the waiting room next to the unit that I had spent several stays after my hysterectomy, partial hysterectomy, tumor removal.. cancer scraping surgery.. and 19cm tumor removal surgery.. oh I knew it well! It was the walk thru waiting room to the exit.. the room I had walked thru to get to the other room where the vending machines were.. oh thank God we aren’t meeting in the vending machine waiting room!!! It was the waiting room I’d walked thru to get outside and smoke my cigarettes.  I thought about how insane that was, and how convinced I was about the effects of smoking on my health.  I mean, to smoke is to die.  Simple as that… but in my mind, To eat really crap food, all the time… that was giving me life.. because I needed food.. even if it was bad for me.. I was still alive.

The nurse hung up, and repeated the directions again.  I walked off down the corridor, feeling proud.  This was me! This was me, walking down the corridor and taking control of my life! This was ME! Showing up for myself.. loving myself.. doing something different!!!!

When I got to the room, there was a man sitting in there.  “oh shit.. I wonder if his daughter just had a baby..” I thought to myself.  “What if more family members come.. do we really just sit in this little room with waiting family members and have a 12 step meeting?” I went in and sat down, taking my phone out to start writing away my anxiety.  He asked me if I was visiting someone.  I told him no, that I was waiting for a meeting that was supposed to be there.  He was there for the same reason.  Now, I don’t know why I assumed he wasn’t.  He had a belly, but nothing huge… and he was a guy! I laughed at myself as I clocked my judgements, assumptions and stereotypes.  I thought about the meeting I’d imagined in my head.  The skinny weight watcher models in leggings and tank tops.. flaunting their success stories.. and then the morbidly obese members who had to be wheeled in on their beds that had been cut from their houses.  I listened to him talk a little about the program. He said he had been in the program for 10 years… and I immediately panicked… well.. not panic like as in a panic attack.. but just … “this doesn’t work.. you don’t look like a Ken doll” panic.  I was tempted to leave before anyone else showed up.. catch Wendys on the way back to my house and try again another day.  Thank God I worry about what other people think, because that’s the only reason I initially stayed in that seat.. fear of judgement.  I’m a quitter, but in front of other people.  I do that in the silence of my own company, and then just neglect to ever mention that goal again.

The meeting was small.. myself and four others.  It was weird being the newcomer.  They gave me a welcome packet and explained a little about the group.  It was an adjustment introducing myself as “a compulsive eater” as opposed to “an alcoholic”.  We read step One.  I thought I would know it all already because of my work in AA and NA, but I was surprised.  The words in the book described me.  I don’t know why I was so shocked about that, but I was.  I could relate to description of the addiction to food far stronger than the other 12 step groups.  I was always the fat kid.  It was part of why I needed liquid courage and drugs to numb the pain of being the fat kid.  I listened to them share on what they had read.. how abstinence is the solution, but three times a day they have to unlock that dragon, and let it out to eat enough for them to survive, and then make it go back in its cage until next meal.  I Listened to a lady share her anxiety about a wedding she was going to the next day, and how there would be food, and people asking why she isn’t eating.. or playing out how she can wait until last so there isn’t much left, and lie about being diabetic to avoid the cake.  Holy shit! Do normal people worry that much about eating at a wedding the next day?  How long had she been thinking about this scenario and planning for it?  I could relate.  I remembered stories of people in AA worrying about the alcohol that is served at family functions like that.  It’s all the same shit!!!  The obsessive thinking.. it’s not just how to get the thing that we are craving.. in fact, that is easy, because we’ve already decided we are gonna do it.. it’s the obsessive thinking that goes with the battle inside of us.. knowing we shouldn’t but wanting to anyway.

  
  It fucking sucks y’all.  It doesn’t help that the food here in the USA is pretty much all trash.. one lady shared about how there’s as much sugar in a YoPlait yoghurt as there is in a soda.  Really?? I’d pat myself on the back for choosing a yoghurt for a snack!! She talked about the contents of Campbell’s tomato soup.  She’d wanted to buy it because she wasn’t feeling well, but after reading the label, she didn’t.

When I think about how crap all of our food is, it feels overwhelming.. like there’s really no point in eating unless its vegetables.. just raw vegetables like a freakin rabbit.. rabbits are fat tho… cuddly.. maybe because they are locked in cages for our entertainment.. the wild ones aren’t.. they’re lean and fast… Geeze I can’t wait for the compulsion to be lifted.. my mind to stop racing so much.. its just like when I got sober!! The good news is that my desire to drink and drug has been lifted.  I am by no means cured.. but it isn’t obsessive like it once was, which gives me hope that the same can be true for food!

Welcome to OA!