Wednesday, May 26, 2010

If I'm Honest...

...I have to admit it's been a tough few days on several fronts. People I love, family and close friends, are leaning on me, claiming my energy. People who follow my other blogs, students from my past, complete strangers to me are calling me on the phone and writing emails, wanting assistance or just to be heard. 10 things I'm feeling:
  1. drained
  2. tired
  3. like eating vast amounts of chocolate cake might help
  4. angry
  5. afraid (have I let any of them down?)
  6. resentful
  7. thankful
  8. exhausted
  9. humbled
  10. sad, very sad
Yesterday I made a long trip to be with a friend who needed me. I was alone traveling in both directions. I didn't think to take a good book on tape. I didn't even turn on the radio or listen to a favorite CD. Not sure why not... Maybe quiet seemed like a good thing.

Thinking about life's ups and downs, about problems and losses we all face, about how we cope, about my binge foods and how they really wouldn't help me get through this week any more easily. Voice of reason speaking, but that didn't seem to stop me from dwelling on certain treats I would have allowed myself in the past.

Feeling sorry for myself; feeling burdened; feeling heavy and sad... all excuses to consume many treats in the past. Giving myself rewards because I carry on, treats as compensation for doing things that seem difficult. Now what do I do? Now how can I reward myself?

That's actually a good question. 10 things I might possibly substitute for food/treat rewards:
  1. maybe rather than need rewards, I need to identify and set better boundaries?
  2. an hour of quiet to do whatever I want
  3. take a walk at a favorite place
  4. an early haircut, before I start looking shaggy
  5. 15 minutes in the rocker with the cat on my lap
  6. repeat the serenity prayer
  7. give myself time to paint
  8. write morning pages
  9. ask my husband for a big hug
  10. ??????
That was really difficult! I sat forever trying to think of one more thing that wasn't food-related and finally gave up.

So, I'm asking anybody who's reading this... what rewards do you give yourself that aren't in any way about food?


  1. So many of your post really touch me. Your honesty and thoughtfulness are inspiring. Your blog is unique in how you use it to really think through such important pieces of this puzzle. When I read your words I can really feel you working through this.

    I don't know if I ever thought much about food as a reward in the same way as you describe. I used food for other things, like alleviating boredom. And I am also struggling to come up with one to add to your list. Sorry.

  2. Robin, you could call your sponsor, call a friend who will listen. Take care in calling the right person-someone you know will listen. I hate it when I finally have the nerve to call someone and it turns out they can not hear me. You do have a lot on your plate, and we cannot solve everyones problems that they get them selves into. Be easy on yourself. Julie C

  3. I've had a tough week, too, Peaceful. It's hard to admit that because, except for some anguish about eating, it seems like our co-bloggers are mostly in a happy place. It's OK to be down and frustrated at times. Everything isn't sunshine.

    How about a nice soak in the tub as a reward? Does that relax you?

  4. Peaceful Bird, I think one of the best ways to cope when stressed out is to make sure to cut yourself some slack. You don't have to be everything to everyone all the time. Be kind to yourself and take a moment to breathe. I confess that am a big fan of treats and rewards either for a job well done or for no reason at all. There are so many wonderful things out there other than sweets to indulge in when you need a little pick me up. Some of my favorites are art supplies. Indulge yourself with a decadent tube of paint in a delicious new color. Or a feathery new paint brush. How about a beautiful bottle of iridescent acrylic ink that you can wash over your art pages. Moving on to all of the the lovely treats of the textile variety...A gorgeous snippet of antique lace or ribbon. A charm pack of vintage Liberty of London tana lawn fabrics. A bit of luscious silk dupioni. It doesn't even have to be something fancy, a five pack of brand new seam rippers can bring me joy. Now what about a bouquet of flowers hand picked or purchased for your table? Last week I treated myself to a pack of viola plants that I tucked about my garden. This week I treated myself to a gorgeous french lavender plant that I know darn well will not over winter in Minnesota. Moving on to some of my other favorite treats, a pedicure, a new tube of lip balm, a pretty new nail polish for my toes, a rich hand lotion or a bar of french milled soap are some of the things that I love. On a more personal level, a cuddle in my hammock with Adrian, a snuggle with my kitty, a phone call from my sister, a hug, a foot rub, a Thank You or an I Love You. The world is full of wonderful things to treat yourself to and Peaceful Bird, you absolutely deserve a reward both for a job well done and for no reason at all!

  5. maybe you could treat yourself to a dance class? or half and hour of free dance to music in your home or yard, just you and the music? do you have an ipod or mp3 player...if not maybe the treat is setting a little money aside each time to purchase one..of if you do have one to purchase music?

    Good for you, you are doing great! No one is perfect, no one has perfect lives... the rough spots make the little victories shine so much brighter.

  6. Just one word - BEADS!

  7. Food is a sensual pleasure as well as a biological need. Make sure your food plan includes some favorite flavors...spices, herbs, etc. Also explore your other senses for a reward. Close your eyes and feel your work table. Light a scented candle while you work. Sounds somewhat simple, but I find it helps me.


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