Off White Living

More food. Less sugar. It's that simple

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Don’t be a hater…not even to sugar and ESPECIALLY not to yourself….

Recently there has been talk of the devil.  The sugar-devil, that is.  First, Dr. Lustig out of San Francisco, created this video expounding all the evils of the white stuff (and even the not-so white stuff that is still sugar, like honey and agave).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

It’s quite a long video, but worth a watch.  He’s a dynamic speaker and very passionate about his work. I’ve chatted with him at a meeting in SF once, and I have to say, I agree with a lot of what he advocates for.

In full rebuttle fashion, a recent article by Dr. David Katz, came out cautioning us to see sugar as public enemy #1.  I too agree with him.

But here’s the approachI don’ t see taken enough in the debate about food and diet: The personal experience and personal responsibility around eating.  I have worked with enough people (in addition to my own sugar journey) to know that demonizing a food, calling for taxes, policies, and political action, does not usually do a damn thing to stop individual behavior.  Think about it:  does knowing that sugar contains calories, can cause you to feel a drop in mood, can contribute to diabetes and heart disease and obesity really stop you from eating it when those strong, deep rooted cravings are activated?

I don’t think it does.  What I think stops you (if you abstain) is a  commitment to something greater and stronger than the call for the sweet stuff.  The power isn’t in the knowledge about sugar facts, it’s in your own experiential knowledge of what you want for yourself – how you want to feel, what you want to look like, what all the benefits of NOT eating sugar are.  And that power has the ability to help you navigate life in a far-greater way than just knowing a bunch of facts about foods and using black-and-white classifications of them.

And then there’s the self-esteem issue.  When we demonize a food, and then we consume it, what does that do to our sense of self? Nothing good, I can tell you that.  When I eat something that I think is ‘bad’, I feel bad.  Feeling bad does not inspire me to do good.  It motivates me to keep feeling shameful, eating in secrecy, living in denial or feeling a push-pull battle with the thing that I’m trying to resist.

This is NOT helpful.  No matter what taxes or bans we put on food, if people are compelled to eat them, they will – especially if they are in the middle- to upper-class income bracket and can afford the extra cost.  We still need to couple policy change with tools of self-awareness and self-esteem building.  We need to rally around the idea that each of us has the innate knowledge to know what is truly best for us, and to make food choices from that place.  This is NOT easy to teach, by any means.  It’s a slow process requiring patience and the undoing of a lot of really convoluted knots that come from mix-messages about food, family, culture, and self.

But, I’m up for the challenge…are you?

Can you take on the personal responsibility of your own food choices and advocating for policy that includes some attention to looking at the inner-drive to consume sugar-filled treats?  Can we promote programs that address behavior change instead of blaming sugar for being what it is?

IF you eat sugar, you are not evil.  Sugar itself is not evil.  It is only as powerful in our lives as we let it be.

Okay, off the soapbox for the day.

Energy is Everything – a post from a guest Blogger

Hi all,

this next post is a bit of a deviation from the norm here at Offwhiteliving.  Recently a writer, Melanie Bowen, contacted me about writing a blog post.  Her focus is on energy healing and cancer, but I think the concepts she discusses could really apply to healing any part of your life or any disease.  Something I don’t discuss much here is that I used to work quite a bit in the realm of energy work including mindfulness techniques, yoga, Reiki, EFT, etc.  I have found them profoundly useful in dealing with food issues, I just haven’t focused on that yet here at Off White Living…perhaps this is time to turn a new leaf and incorporate more of that!

Anyway, enjoy the post below from Melanie and you can email her at: melanielbowen@gmail.com

Energy Healing: Integrative Cancer Care For The Whole Person

 

Integrative cancer care is care for the whole person — body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Blending holistic medicine with standard medicine, integrative care is sometimes known as alternative medicine, complementary medicine, holistic healing, or adjunctive care.

Realizing the importance of treating the whole person, many modern cancer treatment centers provide integrative care programs for cancer patients and their families and caregivers. Integrative care teams consist of oncologists, other health professionals, and licensed holistic practitioners. Not only are they trained in safe, effective complementary care practices, but they are also experienced and knowledgeable about conventional medical treatments.

Integrative care centers, therapists, and practitioners provide a number of healing therapies during and after cancer treatment. In addition to promoting biologic therapies and natural medicine, they offer patients a range of other therapy choices, including the energy therapies.

Energy therapies focus on internal and external energy fields – bio-fields originating within the body, and outside sources like electromagnetic fields. Modern energy therapies often blend Eastern and Western concepts of energy to promote balance and healing but are used all over the world. EFT can become widely recognized as one of the leading alternative in the UK and Europe as well as having the ability to be substantially recognition in the USA. Helping patients activate the body’s own natural healing powers is the ultimate goal of energy therapy.

Yoga and acupuncture are probably the most popular energy therapies. But more and more cancer patients are turning to healing touch, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and intuitive bodywork for their cancer care plans. While these therapies are not meant to replace conventional medicine, they are good complements to standard medical practices.

Clinical research has shown EFT, intuitive bodywork, healing touch, and other energy therapies to be beneficial for cancer patients. They improve post-surgery healing and recovery, while reducing the need for pain medication. Symptoms resulting from aggressive cancer therapy, like chemotherapy and radiation treatments, generally reduce with energy therapies.

Energy healing is known to decrease stress and promote relaxation, which boosts the body’s own healing power. Therapeutic touch and EFT tapping may even improve clinical outcomes and cancer survival rates. One study, for example, showed that energy therapies like yoga improved the quality of life for breast cancer patients and increased their survival rates. But even patients whose prognoses are slim (such as those with rare aggressive disease mesothelioma) can reap the quality-of-life benefits of energy therapy.

Contemporary energy healing stems from ancient energy and spiritual concepts — concepts that go beyond the scope of clinical research and modern healing practices. Holistic treatment centers directories like the Federation of Holistic Therapies understand that cancer treatment involves more than just physical healing. As a result, they provide a useful tool to search practitioners that use integrative programs to represent a wide spectrum of contemporary traditions and well-rounded beliefs. They recognize that, for some people touched by cancer, energy healing can enhance patient health and quality of life through therapies that heal the body, mind, and spirit.

Energy therapy, and other integrative care, is primarily an outpatient program. However, it is sometimes used in inpatient cancer care. A physician or nurse referral is preferred, but typically not required, by holistic practitioners. Many practitioners provide home-based palliative care for patients struggling with end-of-life challenges, such as those facing a bleak prognosis for pancreatic cancer or a short mesothelioma life expectancy. Complementary care therapies are also helpful for family members and caregivers — people who experience cancer treatment in a unique way alongside their loved-ones. Check out the Institute for Complimentary and Natural Medicine for more information on the regulations and recognitions of holistic therapies.

 

Mouth Watering Madness in the Mission

Last weekend Matt took me to SF for the day to celebrate by birthday (belated).  His gift to me was a walking and tasting tour of the Mission district of SF and then a stop at La Cocina for a Latin fusion cooking class with a group called “Parties that Cook”.

First stop: Mission Minis for some itty-bitty cupcakes.  This guy is known for the “$1 mini cupcakes).  A portion controlled treat to start the tour – love it!  I had the honey lavender and Matt had coconut

Magical cupcakes from Mission Minis

The next stop was my fav: Mr. Pollos. This place has been on TV! …but that’s not why I liked it.  It was because they cook from scratch daily with whatever inspires them at the daily farmer’s market AND they are growing their own peppers and spices to become an authentic Venezuelan restaurant.  It’s a tiny eat-in restaurant but I think you can do take-out and I hear that lunch isn’t as crazy busy as dinner.

the day's bounty at farmer's market

But really why I loved it is because of the cormeal empanadas. Flour-free and FANTSTIC!!

carnitas empanada with a garilc green sauce

Next Stop: Humphry Slocombe Ice cream
Why two desserts before the main lunch?  I have no idea but I was beginning to like the way this tourguide thought.  Yes!  It was a beautiful warm October day in the city, so why not have ice cream, right?

This is me dying and going to heaven with their salted licorice flavor:

me and my new love, Salted Licorice Ice Cream

One more stop at a really famous-but the name escapes me tortilla shop and we were off to cook.

The menu:  Fish tacos with chipolte crema, smoked chicken quesadilla with tomatillo salsa, and two other things I can’t recall the names of.  One was an appetizer: pork carnitas cups with lime and avocado  and the other was this magical corn cake lightly fried and topped with jalapeno jelly.   I was so sad that I wasn’t really hungry anymore by the time we made these dishes because I would have absolutely feasted they were so good.  But don’t worry, I got my fill.

warming tortillas for fish tacos

Our feast!

   

Thanks to my husband for a fantastic, delicious and memorable birthday present!

Feeding the wolf

A Cherokee Legend

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

I first heard this  amazing legend from a dear friend and mentor, Britt Bensen-Steele.

Recently, because of some inner struggles my husband and I have (Grad school will do that to you), this story resurfaced in my life and seemed more relevant than ever.  I was particularly taken with how this story can pertain to emotional eating.

Just like in the story, my experience with emotional eating stems from something Ekhart Tolle refers to as the “pain body” (aka the negative wolf).  For some reason that wolf sometimes seems easier to feed.  Pain can be very seductive especially when it is wrapped in a package that looks like “I am a victim” or “why does this happen to me” or “I will never be good enough”.  Eating emotionally is a way that I’ve often fed that wolf.  It reinforces the pain because it gives me a momentary reprieve and a lasting shame.  It never satisfies anything but to fuel the fire of that voice saying “see, you messed up again”.

On the other hand, when I can pause, be mindful, and shift into the role of the observer I can see that there is no feeling and no situation that will be solved with food (or any other substance).  This is like feeding the positive wolf.  When I am gentle with myself, when I stay calm, when I reach out to give and receive love, I find serenity and trigger foods just don’t have the same allure.

When I am caught up and find myself longing for excess sugar I can stop myself and say ‘hey, what is going on here?”.  I don’t have to just go into the food on autopilot like I used to.  I can catch myself feeding the negative wolf earlier on than I did in the past, but it does take work.

A long time ago I heard somebody tell me that training the mind to be ‘mindful’ and shift into the observer role is a lot like training a puppy.  It constantly goes off course, wandering and searching for stimulation.  The solution is not to blame or punish the puppy (the mind).  It is just doing what it inherently does.  The solution is to kindly, patiently, gently call it back to course and let go of the attachment, knowing that it will stray again in 5 minutes.

Maybe it’s age, but more than ever I’m so curious about my own mind and where my thoughts come from.  I’m doing a lot of work on looking at the origins of my emotional eating (which is just a manifestation of deep anxiety).  It’s  fascinating, I tell you.  I had no idea how much I’ve fed the negative wolf and starved the positive wolf.  The greatest gift in this exploration has been in realizing that the deep, dark places I’ve been afraid of aren’t so dark at all.  Almost like the negative wolf’s bark has always been bigger than his bite but I was under an illusion.  So, for me, the positive wolf might have a softer voice but dang is she STRONG!!

 

Purge your words and avoid emotional eating

Well all know journaling is good for us, right?  Well if you don’t – hear this:  Journaling can help you to release stressors and emotions and be a safe place to vent.  IT can also be a place to work out ideas or dilemmas you’re experience.  As an emotional carb eater, journaling has helped me tremendously in the past ‘purge my words’ so I don’t try and stuff them down with sweets.

However, lately I don’t journal much.  Not sure why, I just don’t feel like it- that is, until I found this site: 750 words.  The premise is simple.  It’s based on a technique from the “Artist’s Way” which includes writing 3-pages daily called morning pages.  It just so happens that 750 words is about 3 pages.  This website is a virtual journal that challenges you in a fun way to write 750 words/day in an uncensored, private, daily fashion and it will help you keep track of how often you do it.  There is something charming about the approach to the site and I like the design.  It’s very simple.

All I’m sayin’ is that in the past few days I’ve journaled every day and feel a lot better.  I have been stressing about some upcoming decisions and been home alone a lot.  This is a recipe for eating in the absence of hunger, particularly for wanting refined carb goodies for me.  Writing it out and not worrying about perfection has helped me tremendously.  Maybe it will help you too.  Check it out!

Life on an $80/week grocery budget: How we do it

A long time ago I posted about buying groceries for $100.  Good stuff.  But since then out lives have changed.  Dramatically.  We are now both grad students with a very unforgiving grocery budget.  So, what does one do when the budget is tight and the expectations are high.  Here is how we eat well, mostly wheat-free, and very flavorfully for $82/week no matter what (and sometimes even less).

 

  • Look at the sale ads.  Before I even set foot in a grocery store I look at the sale ad for 3 stores:  Safeway, Nugget Market, and Savemart.   I usually choose 1-2 of these stores/week to go to based on what I need most and what has the most sale items of things we use.
  • Buy foods in bulk.  I do most of this at the Davis Food Coop and the foods I get include:
    • Oat bran
    • Oatmeal
    • Spelt, Oat, Rye and even Whole Wheat (sometimes) flour
    • Cocoa powder
    • All spices in bulk
    • Sea Salt
    • Unrefined sugar, as needed
    • Honey
    • Peanut Butter (sometimes)
    • Popcorn (unpopped, so I can cook it on the stove)
    • Gluten-free/Wheat-free pasta
  • Be willing to freeze things that are on sale for future use.  I do this mostly for:
    • Flaxmeal (recently got 1lb bags of organic Spectrum Flaxmeal for $.91/each – I bought 3 and freeze them)
    • All meats
    • Seasonal fruit like peaches and berries
    • Tomatoes (either frozen as puree or sauces)
    • Bread (when I buy it we freeze it and just take out 1-2 slices as needed, this is especially true of sprouted grain breads, which I only buy on sale)
  • Shop local fruit stands (I go to the Yolo Fruit stand bimonthly).   Seasonal, local and perhaps even organic produces is inexpensive there
  • CLip coupons.  It’s not always fun, but save 2-5$/week with coupons. Things I never buy without a coupon or on sale are;
    • Almond milk ( I refuse to pay more than $3/half gallon).  Coupons are plentiful in the paper or even at the store
    • Any boxed good like granola bars or FiberOne bars, which I buy when I have a coupon
    • Paper towels and TP (BTW this stuff fits into our $82/week budget)
    • Hair coloring (this is not from grocery budget but I buy it about every 6 weeks so it’s worth mentioning since the good stuff is spendy)
  • Don’t buy all the expensive stuff at once.  For instance I buy extra virgin olive oil about once/month or 6 weeks.  I even get Organic stuff for about $8-9/liter sometimes if I look at the ads or go to the Grocery Outlet.  Same goes for meats.  I buy organic beef about 1x/month because it’s expensive and then we have it for 2 meals/month.  Look at your most expensive items and see how you can spread the cost around.
    • On this note, don’t pass up a smokin’ deal of something you need but is pricey.  I don’t always wait until I really ‘need’ certain things to buy them.  Instead I buy when they are a really good deal so it’s already in stock
  • Avoid last minute ‘have to’ purchases.  THings like eggs, cheese, and even certain vegetables can be very expensive if you buy them last minute and they aren’t on sale.  I grocery shop 1 day/week so we don’t run out of things and have to make quick (and expensive) trips to the store.
  • Live without some things.  I don’t buy nearly as many Gluten-free products because of price.  I also buy my whole grains in bulk more often than in a package due to price.  Premade desserts, alcohol, and out of season/sale fruits and veggies aren’t an option any more.   Same goes for nuts, trail mixes, or frozen entrees (which I didn’t eat a lot of but sometimes for lunch at work).   We have a flexible list of the things we eat regularly  and sometimes we substitute our first preference for something else.  For instance, when mixed greens are on sale, we eat them as our bulk green for the week.  If next week it’s spinach and not mixed greens – we have spinach all week.  Same goes for the type of cheese and yogurt we consume (which we do in small quantities anyway) and even meats.
    • This means a lot more meal planning, using recipes, and thinking about how foods are going to pair together in meals when I’m shopping.  It’s like mixing and matching your wardrobe…only for your stomach!
  • Look at your beverage spending habits.  Coffee, flavored waters, teas, juice – all of that can add up.  Water should be the basis of your beverage diet.  Sometimes we buy flavored bubbly water and it can get pricey if we rely too much on them.  We also don’t go to the store mid-week and get more.  Whatever we have, that is what we eat.
  • Don’t be wasteful.  It should go without saying, but I used to throw away a lot more food than I do now.  I also don’t overbuy.  When I hit the stores every Sunday it’s because I need to go; we are running out of food!

I hope this may help some of you.  I love grocery shopping and figuring out how to get our needs/wants met without breaking the bank.  It’s like a puzzle for me.  I’d also love to hear any of your tips, faithful readers.

Inspiration from a good friend and fantastic food

no white flour/sugar in this tasty meal!

What a delight my day was.  Sharing a delicious, Off-White friendly meal with a dear friend and her 7 month old baby.  It’s not that she necessarily tried to do Off-White per se, it’s just that she’s a healthy cook with a creative flair and look what I got to enjoy as a result.  Both recipes are insiprations from the Food Networks success Giadia, but with some lighter twists.  We had an artichoke dish with spices, Parmersan cheese and a little olive oil, and an amazing tomato soup with lemon zest.  Fantastico!

The palate pleasure did not stop there.  No Ma’am.  She topped it off with HOMEMADE berry frozen yogurt and grilled peaches.  And she had the nerve to say that she doesn’t know how busy mom’s have time to cook amazing food and blog about it. As far as I saw, she was 90% there (no blog..YET!)

divine on a hot day in Sacramento!

I guess what I loved the most about day with this dear friend was that she inspired me to get more creative with my cooking.  I’ve never made anything like what we had, and that was fantastic.  I loved the joy I felt when the soup hit my tongue and I sense sweet, sour, spicy and cool flavors all at the same time.  I loved the way the artichokes smelled coming out of the oven and the fact that she even pulled out the cloth place mats to complete our meal.  It was awesome to see her whip out a frozen tub of homemade berry yogurt.  It had that texture which brought me back to childhood when my mom used to make peach ice cream.  Nothing, I mean nothing, is like homemade creameries.
So, now I’m cooking up ideas.  What do I want to make?  There is a challenge going on at the Coop right now where we can enter pics of food made with local ingredients to win tix to a foodie event.  I’m SOO there.  But what to cook?  I tried some carrot muffins but…err…that didn’t turn out so well.  So it’s back to the drawing board but now I have some new inspiration.

 

 

 

cool websites you might enjoy

Where do I get some of my inspiration?  Well, from bloggers and website contributors too, of course!  I definitely have website envy about some of the cool stuff I see out there.  Here are two that I go back to regularly for pics, ideas and just to see the latest and greatest.  I really appreciate when people get creative and innovative with perspectives on food and eating well.  Drudgery around food be GONE!

Enjoy:
Fit Bottomed Girls – the name ROCKS and so do some of their posts and ideas for living a wellness based lifestyle

Food52 – I like their challenges/contests, food pics and the breadth of topics around cooking.

 

the “SEE FOOD” Diet

I remember a dumb diet cartoon that went around when I was a kid.  It was two overweight people talking and one says “I”m on the see-food (spelled seafood) diet…. I SEE FOOD and I eat it!”  Ha!

Well, maybe that isn’t so dumb after all.  After reading a recent article in the Newsletter Nutrition Action, I was really inspired by the work of Dr. Brian Wasnik.I’ve seen him talk at the Experimental Biology conference in 2010 and recall his enthusiasm for understanding people’s eating behaviors.  He gets beyond simply looking at food from a calories in/calories out perspective.

In a nutshell, his philosphy is that mindful eating is really about the food environment: how big is your plate?  How fast are others eating their food around you?  What cues do you use to know that you are full?  Many of us DON’T use internal cues – we instead belong to the ‘clean plate club’ or stop eating when those around us do so.  Have you ever noticed that about yourself?  I certainly have!   I’ve also noticed how food behaviors, like eating really fast, stick around with me even when the need to do so is absent.  For instance, if I have plenty of time for a relaxed lunch, I’m more apt to still eat quickly if I’m eating alone because of the many days of my life when I was rushed (real or percieved) to do so.  The result: I feel like I ‘missed something’ and usually want a sweet taste, even if it’s fruit, to end the meal.

In general, this work is really important if you are trying to change your behaviors.  You could have the strongest desire to improve your diet and great intentions, but if you aren’t attuned to the visual, sensory, olfactory envrionment in which you eat, your best efforts may be no match for the subconscious influences.

I love the notion of eating food on nice dishes, instead of cheap, ugly/plastic/paper dishes.  It speaks to the value of food as being worthy of attention.  I love the idea that food presentation can help curb serving size.  I’m much more likely to stop eating when full when the food is nicely presented because it’ a feast for the eyes as well as the body.

Look around your life and observe times when you over eat or eat things you don’t want to be consuming.  What triggers it?  Maybe the trigger isn’t even immediately felt?  There have been times when I’ve watched some of those cooking shows about cupcakes (why so many cupcake shows??) and suddenly I can’t get cake and cupcakes out of my mind.  I don’t watch those particular shows now b/c they stick with me and it’s hard for me to stop the drive to eat sweets when I’ve been subconsciously primed!!

This approach to food behavior is invaluable for helping us make lasting dietary changes on a familial, community and cultural level.  We cannot simply continue to produce dietary recommendations unless they encompass a behavioral component as well.  If simply telling people how many fruits and vegetables to consume was enough, obesity and diabetes and eating disorders would not be as prevalent as they currently are.  My hope is to advocate for behavioral change as a fundamental component of dietary change in my future professional work.  While one one hand it may feel overwhelming to realize that knowledge about healthy food isn’t enough to combat the pitfalls of a poor diet, it is also exciting to realize that maybe the reasons some of us have struggled are less about facts and more about the non-nutrient elements of eating that come into play.  To be sure, fatty and sugar food will ALWAYS be pleasurable and may in themselves pose a risk of overconsumption, but unless we look at environment as well it remains unknown how much of that drive can be shifted my making changes in the external landscape.

Okay, I’ll hop off of my soapbox now!  I’m simply excited to see this work being published in a mainstream format (via the newsletter and Dr. Wasnik’s books), as it gives further clout to something I’ve seen to be true as well.  Now, to the matter of HOW to change the food and eating environment……..and that is for another post!  But, a few things you can do in the meantime, perhaps:

  • Eat on a smaller plate – try it ONCE..and then again…and then for a week – change doesn’t happen overnight
  • Keep the fruits out so they are ‘in sight’ and more likely to be eaten as a snack
  • Tuck treats away out of visual sight- INCLUDING THE CANDY BOWL AT WORK!!
  • Keep your home eating place clean and pleasant looking
  • Prep vegetables when you buy them so that they can be ready to eat and place them on the top shelf in the fridge.  Use resealable clear containers so you can always SEE what you have available
  • Play nice music when you eat
  • Portion out things purchased in bulk, like chips/trail mix/nuts/dried fruit.
  • Chew your food; purposefully eat with a slow eater so you can experience what it’s like to SLOW DOWN……

On Beginnings….

“The Miracle Was Not that I Finished, but That I Ever Began”.

I have no idea who originally said this, but I first came across this profound statement on the back of a runner’s tee-shirt at the Luna Bar Women’s Duathalon .  To me, this quote sums up all that I could really say for myself about starting the off-white process as well as all that really matters.

Often, after coming upon my blog or learning about my professional experiences, people ask me how they can get started, or rather, is it even possible for them to get started.  I can see the desperation in their eyes because they’ve probably tried everything: Weight Watchers, calorie counting, hypnosis, swearing off certain foods…whatever.  I can also see that desperation because I too have felt it.  I know that feeling of totally ‘blowing it’ by eating out of control or binging on sweets, and feeling like all the hard work you put into your dietary changes are gone.  Boom….go back to the beginning.  It’s even worse when that feeling of blowing it is followed by the nagging voice of “you should know better”.  Aaargh, who wouldn’t feel shame if the  harpies of “woulda, shoulda, coulda” were barking in your ear.

It has taken me a long time to work on that black and white mentality.  I always feel like if I’m not being perfect with something (Food, school, money, whatever), I’m therefore a total failure.  Not much wiggle room in that mindset.    This thinking has often overwhelmed me because it made me feel like none of my changes, insights or experiences counted for anything and I was back at square one.  How exhausting and defeating!  With the help of friends, therapists, journaling, and some down and out cry-fests, I’m evolving this attitude.  The miracle is that I even started this process in the first place and that I “woke up” to wanting a better life for myself.    It’s also a miracle that I don’t give up.  As my friend S. says… “Don’t give up because you are always just 3 feet from gold”.  Even if I ‘screw up’ (which I put in quotes because it’s not real, just my mind being in judgement)or make a choice that really isn’t the best for me, I’ve not destroyed the past.  I’m not back at the beginning.  I’m right where I was and I have something to learn from whatever is happening in the moment.

In some ways perhaps many of us will always be at the beginning, so we may as well get used to it.  That is a very yogic philosophy on this whole process, but I buy into it.

If you are at the beginning, meaning that you are now just realizing that you want to change your diet in whatever way and reestablish a healthy relationship with food then CELEBRATE that awareness!  It is the most important thing.  Trust your skills and assets to help you. The same innovative thinking that helps you juggle work/family/hobbies or unclog the sink or deal with a difficult coworker can all help you deal with your own food experiences.  You come to the table with a lot of assets.  Be be patient don’t expect yourself to change overnight…it will just set you up for disappointment and that feeling like you are back at the beginning.  Start with ONE manageable change.  If you used to eat two candy bars per day and now you eat one, you have made a change.  If you switched to water instead of soda – you are a rockstar.  If you started journaling your feelings and realized that there is an ocean of emotion in there – yes!!!  This is progress!!!

It has taken me YEARS to get to where I am now, which is nowhere close to perfect, but it’s better than it was the day before.  Each day that I appreciate the fact I even decided to begin this process of Off-White living, I am a grateful woman and more likely to stay on the horse as I journey down this path.

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