(See The Plan page for more information about monthly themes.)
January is self-care month here at live once juicy. Which prompts me to ask what exactly is self-care?
I’m a mom, a wife, a counselor–I take care of other people. It’s hardwired into me, perhaps thanks to being the oldest of a pretty dysfunctional family with nine kids when I was a teenager. Perhaps thanks to having a kidling with high needs. Who knows. But I can tell you that I’m good at caring for others, and a little bit sucky at taking care of myself.
Self-care is pretty self-explainatory. It’s about figuring out what I need to be healthy, and then doing that.
It’s about giving up an unhealthy obsession with dieting, a bad habit of stepping on the scale five or six times a day, binge eating to ease anxiety and strong emotions, and eating the food that makes me sick.
It’s also about learning how to make the food that supports my body, and learning to appreciate my unique needs.
As a result of my taking better care of myself, I’ll be taking better care of my family.
See how it all works out?
My big goals for the year for self-care are to be gluten-free, a daily vitamin, and today starts my No Weigh program.
Gluten intolerance causes malabsorption of nutrients from food. As a result I’m iron-, vitamin D-, and I’m sure others-deficient. So basically I feel depleted most of the time. I HATE taking vitamins. They make me pukey. I think because I always go overboard and end up trying to take 10 at a time. I bought some little one-a-day vitamins with a nice coating on them that I’m going to start with. I’ll re-evaluate later if I need more. But that, with it’s iron and vitamin D, is a good start and way better than the zero vitamins I take now.
The No Weigh program is basically a non-diet. No more dieting. Sounds crazy right, for a girl who weighs 300 pounds to give up dieting as a New Year’s Resolution. Here’s the thing. I’ve been on a constant diet since I was in the fourth grade. Guess what? I wasn’t even fat in the fourth grade. I just wasn’t as skinny as my younger sisters. I can’t count how many times I’ve talked about just wanting to be healthy, to feel good–but it always boils down to an imprinted desire to be thin. In order for me to really focus on getting to a place where I feel good, I have to give up my addiction to dieting. And the best way I can think of to do that is to stop measuring my weight. (My body too, but I haven’t had a problem with constant measurement taking. If I develop one, the measuring tape goes too.)
No Weigh is not about some feel-good new-age hoo-haw. It isn’t about accepting myself as I am, or loving my fat. I’m a substance abuse counselor. I can see plainly that food and dieting are addictions to me the same way that meth and alcohol are addictions to my clients. I have triggers like they do, I use my addictions to ease stress or other bad feelings like they do, I use them as a coping mechanism just like they do with thier drugs. That, my friends, has to stop. So the faithful Kevin has hidden the bathroom scale from his crazy wife.
Here is what you can expect this month with regard to The Plan:
- An official weekly update every Friday (plus who knows how many mini-updates throughout the week.)
- At least one book review.
- At least one recipe review per week for a gluten-free baked good.
- At least one gluten-free product review per week.
- A decent posting about food addiction sometime this month.
Self-care is the month’s theme, but that doesn’t mean that the other themes are totally neglected!
- Frugality: Make a master grocery list and start a price book.
- Simplicity: List three time and energy drains, and three ways to improve each.
- Sustainability: Use $10 of each week’s grocery budget on stock-up foods.
- Life-long learning: Have Kevin help me make a duct tape dress form.
- Joy: Earn $100 per week from freelance writing.
- Forgiveness: Write work problems out in a letter that may or may not be sent to my boss.
- Housekeeping: Declutter living room and front porch. (see note)
- Career: Finish read-through on Devil You Don’t and send to publisher.
- Spirituality: Find a UU forum.
- Relationships: Call Carol.
Note on Housekeeping: I’ve decided to divide my house up like this: livingroom/porch, kitchens (we have two because we live in both sides of a duplex), bathrooms, storage room, bedrooms, storage unit. Each gets two months for decluttering. That sounds like a lot. I know. But I know myself. If I take it slow, I’m more likely to get it done. Also, I’ve decided that in that two months I’m going to do a frugal decorating job on each group of rooms. Stay tuned!
So, on Friday’s check ups, you can expect to hear about these other goals as well.
Yee Haw! I’m on my way….