Thursday, 21 February 2013

Who am I REALLY?

It has been waaaay too long since I blogged... sorry for the silence. There has been a lot going on in my life, but this quest is always on my mind.

So I have had two counselling sessions since my last blog, and a doctors visit with more blood test results.

I went to my second last counselling appointment in a lot of distress. I had realized that I had this impulsive part of me that I had absolutely NO control of. The sane part of me wants all my dreams to come true, travelling, health, career. But this impulsive part couldn't care less. So when it comes time for a binge I can rationalize all I want, but the impulsive part says hells no, we are doing what I want to do, no matter what. (It was the "no matter what" that scared me the most. I was trying to control it, and instead ended up lying to Chuck, I felt like I was falling back into my teenage life, too much control = Reina will lie to break free of it). 

What I learned was that instead of trying to control and restrict this impulsive part of me, I am supposed to work with it. I found this very confusing until last session when she explained it. I should say, yes I hear you, but I am choosing not to act on this impulse. And if I feel anxiety that is ok, acknowledge the anxiety the same way and don't dive into it. 

She gave me an analogy that I really enjoyed. There are three boxes we live in throughout our lives, one is the positive box, one is the neutral box and one is the negative box. And we spend a lot of time in the neutral box. And thats ok. We shouldn't feel constant pleasure, that is just not life, same goes for the negative feelings. But we do everything we can, eat, watch tv, watch movies and in extreme cases drink or do drugs to get out of that neutral box. If we can accept that life is mostly in that neutral box and quit fighting that, we will find that inner peace. That really resonated with me.

The other thing we talked about was that I need to "sit with" my emotions and my impulses. I didn't understand what that was, but she said you need to sit with it and not give it that story, breathe through it, feel the emotion, but not feed it with all the whys you are feeling that way. 

I tried, but I didn't feel a difference until my uncle died. See, when I am sad, I run away from it. I will eat, watch a movie, distract myself. And out of respect for my uncle and I guess even for myself I thought I should allow myself to feel the sadness, but not feed it. So I did. And it felt cleaner, more pure and way less overwhelming. 

Then on Tuesday I was listening to an audio book by the Dalai Lama called "How to See Yourself as You Really Are." Because I began to realize a lot of who I am and how I know myself is through my defence mechanisms, if anyone wanted me to tell them all about myself, I would be at a loss for words. So I was listening to this. Then I decided to take a break and was about to order pizza and then this part of me went "NO!" and this was my breakthrough. The part of me that wants the dreams is stronger than the impulsive part. I am in control of myself! I know this seems small, but after months and months, if not years of giving into the impulses because I was afraid of having another panic attack, finally having the strength to overcome that impulsive part of me was like a breath of fresh air!

At the doctors he checked my blood pressure and it is still high but not too high to work out so yay... :p lol not much enthusiasm... but he also told me quite flippantly that I have an autoimmune disease that I can do NOTHING about that is attacking my thyroid and eventually it will go kaput and I will have to go on medication. He told me this only because I remembered to ask about the further tests on my thyroid, and he didn't even tell me the name of the autoimmune disease. I kind of accepted that because I believed that there was nothing I could do. And when I had friends and family say "oh with a healthy diet you will be fine" I got pretty pissed because I felt completely helpless about it. But then I saw my counsellor yesterday and after I told her this she got pretty mad :p lol and she said that there IS something I can do, the doctors were saying the same thing about her son (he has a different medical issue with an autoimmune disease). She took the time after the session to email me this article, because due to my symptoms this is what she thinks I may have (my doctor is on vacation so I won't be able to confirm for a couple more weeks). But the symptoms do fit. 
I am sensitive to lactose.
I am sensitive to gluten.
My thyroid levels fluctuate.
I have had hair loss (thank science I have A LOT of hair :p lol)
I am tired all of the time
My heart beats too fast at times.
My muscles ache and are tender to the touch. 

It is time for me to realize that the way I am living is TORTURE, and although I LOVE pizza and cheesies and pop and chocolate, I love my life, my health, my dreams, my family and my career more. So I am going to research into the Paleo diet. I am hoping that with clean eating I will have more energy and less pain so that I can become active again, so that I can work more efficiently (photography, especially of newborns, is its own kind of yoga :p lol) and so that I can dance again. I remember people saying that what they loved most about my dancing was the look on my face when I did it. Dance, yoga, meditation and photography is where I will find my inner peace. And it all starts with clean eating. 

Monday, 28 January 2013


So I have seen my counsellor, and boy am I happy so far with how things are going with her :)

I learnt a lot from her in my first session with her, it was two hours long! Which she was happy with so that is good lol :)

One of the biggest things that has stuck with me since my session was her planting this seed, this idea of unconditional love. I was explaining how I felt such unconditional love from my husband. I would tell him my deepest darkest secrets about myself. The things I was so embarrassed that I actually did. The parts of me that I hide from everyone. And he still loved me. He accepted that as actions I did as a mistake or in times of weakness but still believed that I was a fundamentally good person. He didn't judge me. At all. What an amazing feeling to be seen for who you truly are no matter what your mistakes. And she said that is wonderful that you have this feeling of unconditional love from him, but what about feeling it for yourself?


I know! I hear so much about if you want to lose weight or be healthy you have to love yourself, and I would always think to myself, well, yeah. I love me. So, why isn't that number dropping on the scale? 

NEVER have I thought about unconditionally loving myself. It's so completely foreign to me! I hold myself to extremely high expectations and feel devastated when I can't meet them. And finally I understand that I only love myself if I perform perfectly. I have such harsh conditions on that love, including looking in the mirror and saying to myself, how can I love this? This is failure right there for everyone to see. I used to be pretty, I used to have talents, and curves and a pretty smile, now it's all hidden behind this fat. How can I love this?

This treatment of myself has resulted in some serious anxiety and actually a really high blood pressure, especially since I have much more responsibilities and high expectations of myself now with the photography business. 

The goal for me is to lower my crazy high expectations and to OWN, not try to cover, my flaws or mistakes. I have to look in the mirror and say I accept this as a place I personally do not want to be with my weight but in no way does it take away from how much I deserve love.  

I have been saying this for years because I truly believed it, but it isn't until I accept myself for who I am entirely that I can expect it from anyone else: I am who I am, no apologies will be given but applause is definitely welcome :p 

So it's gonna me a love me fest in my head for a little while, while I try to figure this all out. And I might have much more to say later on about this. But for right now this is how I can best process this. 

I need to throw this perfectionist out the window. Perfect is impossible to reach, so my best will have to do. 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Purely Psychological

I have been having some bad days lately. This has nothing to do with the weight loss or the eating, but boy does it make me wish for the tranquility. 

Majority of my life has been consumed with avoidance, numbing emotions, pretending everything is fine until I get home and can cry into my pillow... but here I am now, thinking about it all, facing it. And all it does is make me feel raw and more and more powerless and out of control. I am seeing the monsters that have been hiding in the corners of my mind and I have nothing to fight them with. 

Friday was a horrible day. I wasn't able to sleep the night before and then I spent the whole morning obsessing over one little thing, searching the internet, trying to find a solution, and the only result was me wasting an entire morning. I was shaking, so mad at everything, things were going wrong, or moving too slow and I had this rage building from inside of me that scared the heck out of me. And for some reason I didn't numb, I didn't avoid, I sat in this rage and it just enveloped me. I was a bitch to my hubby, I was curt with others, I was scowling the whole day. And I had a meeting with a bride and I just felt pathetic through the entire thing, thinking "here I am trying to be my bubbly self, and she can see right through it." 

Eventually I calmed down and Saturday turned into a MUCH better day. But then today I started to feel the same frustration and helplessness as Friday morning. Just this time I gave myself a timeline, and I walked away from what was enraging me and did something else. It was an averted disaster. I feel so much better now. I know that I still have monsters to fight off, but I also know now that I am strong enough even without weapons. 

I just sat down at my desk and looked on the wall to my left where I pinned up a card my husband got me. And once again it spoke to me. So I want to share it with you. 

Confidence in Oneself
Human potential
is the same for all.
Your feeling, 
"I am of no value"
is wrong. 
You are deceiving yourself.
We all have the power 
of thought -
So what are you lacking?
If you have will-power, 
Then you can do anything.
It is usually said that
you are your own master.
                                           ~The Dalai Lama

I put the words in bold that speak the most to me, if italics are added, well you get the drift, lol. 

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Pros... and Cons

Losing Weight

So last blog I said I would discuss my reasons to change and my reasons to not change. 

Reasons to change:

  • I feel like I have lost who I am in all this fat. When I dream I am in my healthy weight, that is who I truly am. 
Ways I have lost myself:
  • My husband has no idea the grace and strength I used to have and walk with, and the rhythm I could keep with dance. Such a huge part of who I am and he has no idea it's in me. 
  • I can't dress how I would like to dress, because they just don't make my size. I have lost my sense of style with this last 50/60 pounds, I feel like I do not wear this weight as well as I did my lower weights, and that only adds to the insecurities. 
  • I feel less feminine and beautiful. I always had insecurities, but I always felt moments of beauty and I always felt feminine... this does not happen anymore. It really sucks and makes me not want to go out. 
  • I am a photographer and I feel like I am only half the photographer I can truly be because I can't chase my clients kids, and it is hard for me to move within my studio. 
  • I need to get healthy, I am tired of sore bones, and joints, i am tired of walking a small distance and breathing heavy and then having people much thinner than me look at me weird. I am tired of feeling like my heart will beat out of its chest because I climbed some stairs. I am tired of my back aching, my feet aching, my hips aching. I am tired of obsessively pulling down my shirts because they creep up my belly and the worst thing ever would be if a stranger saw my belly. I need to be healthy. This has to happen. 
  • I am a foodie. And I am bitter about the fact that being the weight that I am, people don't seem to understand the difference between the food I WANT to eat and the food that I eat to numb emotions. In one of my first blogs I posted about how it's not about liking food too much and that it is a much deeper issue. A couple of people have expressed that they do not believe that to be true, because why would I post pictures of food on Instagram and whatnot? And that frustrates me, because the food I photograph is food I eat for entirely different reasons. Feeling anxious and depressed doesn't make me get all dolled up to go to a fine dining restaurant and have pheasant breast lol. Or it doesn't make me want to go to a different city to explore the culinary greats within that city. It makes me slink off to 7/11 for pop and chips and chocolate, etc. The truth of it is there is a great amount of shame and embarrassment in binge eating, so I would not photograph a binge. I am a foodie and I will be one after this. I will still post pictures of the amazing food I stumble across or discover, even after I have lost the weight. So it frustrates me that that part of me cannot be separated from the unhealthy part of me in some people's eyes, but it is all just a lesson to try not to care about what other people think. I think it is also a lesson on my need to control how people think of me. I need to learn how to let go of that. And despite the public forum with which I am doing this, this is a totally personal and private thing... So I need to let others have their opinions and just not worry about misunderstandings. The important thing here is that I understand myself, and that is why change will benefit me. 

Reasons not to change:

  • I have done this for 30 years, it's comfortable, it's easy. 
  • It's scary to try and shake things up at this stage. 
  • It is hard to face the demons and bad memories inside of me, to see what I have gone through to make me what I am today. To acknowledge that pain and hurt. 
  • I worry that changing this in me will change who I am as a person, what if I change so much that I am not the person my husband fell in love with? I know that sounds silly, but its still scary. 

Obviously my reasons to change far out number my reasons not to, and there is definitely a passion behind the change and a great deal of fear behind the no change. I feel that speaking to a psychologist will empower me to overcome those fears as well as embolden me to make those reasons to change permanent in my mind. 

Finding Tranquility

I have a problem with organization. And one huge part of that is meal plans. So I visited this blog iheartorganizing  and boy oh boy does she have EVERYTHING you need for organizing. And seeing as organization is a huge goal to finding tranquility I look forward to reading more. 

I did my first attempt on a meal plan here (last week):

Sorry the quality sucks lol, Iphone pic here :) 

So this meal plan is very repetitive and may seem boring, but I am kinda sucky at picking out healthy meals, and being students a lot of our meals need to be prepared ahead of time (butter chicken and lasagna is good for that). Also the cold cuts we are putting in our breakfasts are not processed meats, but butcher cuts, very yummy :) better than bacon I would assume. 

If any of you have recipes I can use that are easy to prep, or can be prepped to be frozen until we need to heat it up, please comment below :) hopefully my meal plans will get even more balanced and interesting as life goes on :)

Saturday, 12 January 2013


Losing Weight

Through the past couple of weeks after the holidays, the question why was constantly on my mind. "Why am I like this way?" "Why do I eat?" "Why can't I stop?"

Well a year ago I was part of a Binge Eating study. In this study I received a book that was a type of manual that would help me to understand my problem and how to fix it. I lost the booklet before the study completed and didn't do any of the exercises, so it was truly a waste, unfortunately. But I did get one thing from that. It explained to me in a way that made perfect sense on why I binge. 

I truly hope that this will help explain it to anyone else with this issue, although this doesn't only apply to food, it applies to shopping, drugs, alcohol... anything that we as humans escape into, and then again, as we all know, some of us escape too much, this could be why. 

I have been told that where all this eating stems from is emotions, I know duh, but it's more complex. I feel emotions INTENSELY. Anyone who knows me personally knows this to be true. A lot of people have assumed that I am "too sensitive" but it's not even close to that, it is way beyond too sensitive. My emotions overwhelm me, and quite frankly scare me. I have at times felt sadness and despair so deep that I would scrape a knife across my skin, not to cut, I am too much of a baby for that, but to feel the sting, the sharp pain, and that would help me to take my sadness and despair outside of me, to express it in some way. Not in a way to show off, but in a way that if you keep it bottled up you explode. I haven't done this for a few years, because it sunk in how dangerous it could be. 

You see the problem is I don't know how to process and properly express my emotions. I feel almost stunted, that my emotions are felt by me like how a child feels emotions. I remember when not getting a treat at the corner store would be so devastating that I would throw a temper tantrum... its still that intense now. And my way to numb these feelings is to eat. 

When I realized I needed to stop beating myself up for not being able to keep to a healthy routine was when I tried to stop the binge during a moment of extreme anxiety, and it turned into a complete emotional break down on my kitchen floor. I did not come back to a normal state until I figured out something to eat. It is super frightening the power food has over me, but it was then that I realized that this is a much deeper problem... so stupid that I realized that AFTER I was diagnosed with BED, but you know sometimes it takes a while for something this huge to sink in. Since that moment, where I felt I was abusing myself by trying to force myself to not binge without any kind of support or proper psychological tools, I decided to leave this stuff to a psychologist to do. To help me figure out how to heal this. Now I understood why, even when I saw positive results and felt so much better with the healthier food and portions I ate, I still fell back into the same unhealthy routine. I do not have the tools to properly stop right now. But I am working on getting them now :)

Step one to my healing could very well be just laying out the reasons to change and the reasons to not change, kind of a pros and cons. This helped when I was dealing with self-esteem, so it is a great exercise :) I plan on posting on that tomorrow, so please check back for that :)

Finding Tranquility

I had a long beautiful talk with my bestie about a week ago, she is in a different city so it is hard for us to coordinate talks, but when they happen they are AWESOME :)

She told me about an exercise her counsellor explained to her, and it reminded me of an exercise I did in yoga and dance that always had a calming affect on me. I have actually tried this a couple of times and found it works really well to centre you, bring you back to now, and release tension and stress. 

It is a breathing exercise, you work up your body concentrating on each part of your body with every slow breath.

1. Find yourself a quiet room in a comfortable chair, and make sure, if you can, that you will not be interrupted for 5 minutes. 

2. Start with your toes, as you breathe in slowly and exhale slowly (3 counts breath in, 3 counts breath out) feel your toes melt into the ground. 

3. Move on to your ankles and imagine the tension flowing out through your toes and your ankles relaxing, then move to your calves, knees, thighs, hips, torso, chest, shoulders, move down your arms to your fingertips, relax your neck, relax your face muscles, feel your face go slack like it does when you sleep, all the while concentrating on relasing the tension on each part with each breath.

4. Repeat a couple of times until you feel completely relaxed. 

This really works! I just have to work harder to remember to do it. 

Friday, 11 January 2013

Some Perspective

Losing Weight

So it's been a while since I have got to blogging. Just had lots of work to do and school started this week, so things got kinda ridiculous for about a week or so lol.

I went to see the doctor (yay!!), so far he is getting me to get blood tests done and I have a full physical coming up, so all the info I need will come from that appointment. I will update with that once it all happens :)

In discussion with my doctor about what I am going through he said some very important stuff, and I want to share that with all of you. This is not a pity party here at my blog, but sometimes it might sound like one, because the situation I am currently in, well, sucks. A LOT.

My doctor explained to me that it is VERY rare that people of my current size are able to lose the significant amount of weight needed to get healthy as well as keep it off. It is generally likened to Alcoholism by medical professionals, but unfortunately there are less success stories with weight loss, because we cannot abstain from food like alcoholics can from alcohol. The one thing that is killing us is also necessary to keep us alive. 

He still feels that gastric bypass should stay on the table (FYI he claims that lap-bands are only 50% effective because they slip off). He also let me know it might even be easier to get a gastric bypass in Montreal. So I know that people close to me have their own beliefs about it, but I am relieved to hear that because I am scared I will not be able to do this on my own, and living like this cannot go on for much longer, so it is good to know I still have options. To my doctor the priority is to get the weight off, and get me healthy, and then deal with all the stuff that put it all on in the first place. He and I both know its only a band-aid, but sometimes you need to use one to stop the bleeding, before you can truly begin to heal.

(and that, my friends, is one of my famous analogies, I am known for these... I am so predictable :p LOL)

Regardless of his beliefs on the GB, he respects my stubborn need to try this on my own first. He suggests that I need to slow down on my sugar and fat intake before I stop completely. If I do it quickly I could lose more than just fat, but also important energy that I need for my body. So this is bittersweet news, it is great to know that I don't have to go on a complete crash diet, but at the same time slowing down requires A LOT of discipline, and as someone with an eating disorder, discipline is hard to come by... hopefully working with a psychologist will help me with this.

Now it all sounds kinda daunting, but near the end of the appointment I got a little nugget of hope. He told me that when people change their psychological view on food their chances of success greatly increase! Meaning my approach to this (finally) is the correct step. I have friends and family who are worried about me and want me to change my habits now, but I need to change my psyche before anything of true success will occur. 

So my plan for this week is to find a reasonably priced psychologist who is trained to assist people with this specific type of problem. 

Finding Tranquility

I continue to de-clutter and organize my life... one thing I plan on doing today is cleaning off my desk, I am going to pretend it is a desk in my studio and I only want stuff on it that I am ok with my client seeing... so I plan to do that and laundry lol... yay for Fridays off school! :p lol

Thursday, 27 December 2012

I am my own knight in shining armour

Losing Weight:

It has been quite the busy week!! I hope everyone's Christmas was awesome and that everyone had a great time spending it with their family and friends :)

This past week, I was reading this one girl's blog. I am not going to link her blog because she is not a blogger that I follow, she is someone my husband follows, and some of her posts are quite... er.... risqué :p lol 

But one thing I read of hers was her life story. About how she fell into a heroin addiction and hit rock bottom. She was in the same place as I feel that I am now. At least with my disorder and health. I feel I am very close to changing my body past the point of 100% recuperation. I don't know if I have diabetes, a heart problem, or a cholesterol problem (I have a doctors appointment scheduled for Jan 2nd, so I will find out soon). Some of these are fixed with a healthy lifestyle, but some aren't and honestly I don't know how many years I have shaved off my life with this, and whether I can get those years back by getting healthy. 

One thing this blogger said is, as she sat at her rock bottom she wondered when she was going to be rescued? When will someone care enough to come and take her problems away? Well that is how I have felt my entire life. And slowly without realizing it, I have rescued myself bit by bit. Reading her blog I realize now that the champion I have been looking for to fight my battles has been within me this entire time. I AM strong enough to do this, I CAN change my life, and I WILL make sure that when I come out of this on the other end I will appreciate my worthiness to live a happy and full life. 

I feel like now things are much more clearer than they have ever been. The curtain of idealism that I have blanketed everything in, where I convinced myself that things were as I thought they were, happy and loving, when in actuality they were filled with tension and sadness, has been lifted and I see things as they actually are. To repeat what I said last week, I need to surround myself with supportive and positive energy. I need to remove judgement and negativity from my life. I have spent so long thinking that I had to live with all of that, but now I realize, hey! I am 30 years old. I am definitely old enough to say what should and can be a part of my life. If something is hurting me I have the right and the strength to remove it. I can be my own knight in shining armour that I dreamed about when I was young. And that is an awesome feeling :)

The only thing that has stood in my way since I made that realization was trying to convince myself that I was worthy enough to be rescued. And then I came across this picture.

This is me at 12 years old (and yes I did Instagram this picture :p LOL). Look at how pretty this girl is, how innocent and I know it must sound weird for me to say this of myself, but look at the kindness and positive energy she exudes. I can also see the pain and the insecurity behind the eyes, but that is because I have the same memories of this girl and what she was going through at the time of this picture. But I look at this picture and I find someone worthy to rescue. I will rescue who I am now for this 12 year old girl. She shows the promise of who I could have become, and I will win that back for her and for myself. 

I am a big believer that we go through things because they shape who we are, and I am pretty darn happy with who I am on the inside, besides all the damage, the anxiety and that neurotic brain I live with. If I look into myself and see my personality, I am so damn proud of that. And this picture of me at 12 reminds me of that personality and how beautiful it truly is. It is flawed but even then, I love the flaws. That is the one part of me I truly love about myself. It's just all the damage that is in there as well that I hate and want to change. And what I went through to get that damage? Well lets just say that I do wish it never happened, it didn't help shape who I am, only took away from who I could have been, and if I had to go through it again, I would never do it. I want to change/remove the parts of my life that feed into that damaged part of me. I deserve to live my life at my full potential and I will not let those factors that try to tear that down do it anymore. 

I will be that knight in shining armour for myself.  

I also promised a list of plans that I want to do once I have lost the weight. These are my incentives:

  1. travel to Europe (I can barely handle a 5 hour trip in those cramped airplane seats, extra cramped for me, let alone the flights that are double that or more to get to Europe ).
  2. dance! I need to dance again, I have this expressive dancer within me and this shameless performer that needs to get out there and move again. 
  3. I plan to do a boudoir shoot :) I want to celebrate my healthy body when I get it. And oh YES I will be posting those pictures!! :p LOL
  4. I want to save my wedding dress, and when I lose weight get it tailored down to my new size. Then I want to wear it in a photo shoot, and maybe my hubby will join me :p LOL, and I want to get the wedding pictures I dreamed I would always have :) me looking foxy in my wedding dress :p lol
  5. I want to do YOGA!! because of my girth there are too many positions that I cannot do, and also right now at the weight that I am, my joints cannot truly support me. So one thing I definitely want to do on a regular basis once I lose weight is yoga.

That's all I got for now :) if you have plans to change your life, I challenge you to list at least one incentive, one thing you dream to do, that you can only do once you have met that goal to change your life, in the comment section below. 

Finding Tranquility:

My plan for finding tranquility is to de-clutter my life, and my hubby is right on board with me on this.

I am going to get rid of/throw out/donate my clothes, extra plates, extra appliances, etc. I want tables in my house to have nothing or only one thing on them. 

I want to stop weaving through the boxes that are in my hallway. I want to come home and think, "ahhhhhh... I am home...." as opposed to what I think now which is "ACK! where do I sit???" :p lol 

So once I have completed the editing I need to finish I am going to work with my hubby to de-clutter our lives. I see a chance of some pure tranquility in that :) 

****Also if you would like to follow this blog, I now have two ways you can follow it, through email, or by google friend connect, so feel free to follow me :)