January 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
Today, I spotted a guy ravenously spoon-feeding himself black beans from a Snapware container. For a moment, I was touched. I thought I found a comrade – a fellow slow carbist in action. Then, I noticed his side plate of bagel and cream cheese. Damn…
At this same black bean consuming location, I was working my Slow Carb sales pitch to one not familiar. I mentioned, of course, my guru Tim Ferriss. “Buy his book”, I demanded. Then, I gave my synopsis of the diet – the one I’ve delivered about a million times to anyone that will listen. I feel like all my conversations go something like this: “Hi, my name is Tessa. Have you heard of Tim Ferriss?”. Then, my Slow Carb sales pitch follows shortly thereafter: “It’s effortless. Simply eat ONLY beans, greens, eggs, and meat 6 days a week. Day seven is carbohydrate bliss. I’ve never been one to limit my intake of carbs. When I take on a Ben and Jerry’s pint, I’m in it to win it. No to two scoops! No to saving half for later! I’ll down the whole freakin’ thing. So, now, I reserve a day where I can do that without guilt, without shame. So, on day 7, I eat whatever food in whatever inordinate amount. It works. I’ve shed 16 lbs. My boyfriend, 25 lbs. Exercise is minimal, less than 10 minutes per week. There’s NO calorie counting. NO restricting.” How could you not be sold, right?
(Tim Ferriss should hire me.)
At first, my audience is intrigued. Then, something happens. I get this (especially from women):
“I can’t give up fruit!”
“I can’t give up chocolate!”
“I can’t give up yogurt!”
“I can’t give up bread!”
“I can’t do cheat day because I’ll binge the next day!”
“I can’t do that, it’s too extreme!”
Can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t! What a viral, self-defeating word! It’s not that you can’t. It’s that you choose not to. And that’s your choice. Slow Carb isn’t for everyone and it’s not the only “diet” out there that works. But at least hold the instinctive urge to can’t all over it. Because you CAN.
Trust me, I was scared to
give up those carbs, too. Wait, did I say give up? Cross that out because you’re NOT giving up anything! You’re, instead, strategically including those delicious foods. Consume all the fruit, dairy, and bread you want on that reserved, guilt free binge day (GFBD). Go hard.
Now, let’s address the binge effect. After GFBD, you should have mentally and physically tamed any bingeing urges. You have allowed your body and brain access to your favorite foods in excess. As a result, your body will be ready to assume clean eating the next day. It definitely takes awhile for your brain and emotions to catch up. Sure, you may feel guilty with this foreign concept of a GFBD. Sure, you may feel uncomfortable with it. Soon, though, it’ll be fun – a day long, eating whatever you please adventure.
Now, let’s address extremity. I’m always baffled when people dub Slow Carb extreme. I know extreme. Extreme is juice fasts. Raw Foodism. Veganism. Cabbage soup fasts. Extreme is calorie counting. I’ve nothing wrong with extreme. Extreme isn’t always bad, but it’s NOT Slow Carb. If anything, the Slow Carb plan is open with its lack of caloric restriction and its glorious “Cheat Day”. What diet insists you take a day off and stuff your mouth with all that is forbidden? So, there. You know that old cliché “All things in moderation”? Well, this is moderation – strategic, effective moderation.
So, let’s see how you fare with one week. Week 1 is the MOST difficult. Adjustments are difficult. If you can survive Week 1, you can stop with the can’ts.
Slow Carb Shopping List for 1 (< $150):
Beans: 2 black, 2 white, 2 butter, 1 lentil
1 can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1 bunch Romaine Lettuce
1 red onion
3 yellow onions
2 heads Cauliflower
1 tomato (or salsa)
Bag Frozen Peas/Carrots
2 dozen eggs
1 Stick Unsalted Butter
Breakfast Sausage (or bacon)
4 Chicken Breasts
Hamburger meat (I prefer buffalo)
Salad Dressing (Check to make sure there are zero sugars on the back)
1/2 cups cashews
Apple Cider Vinegar
Options Slow Carb Elements:
Red Wine (Pinot or Merlot)
Cabbage for tacos (see Day 5)
Raw nut butter
Meal Plan Suggestion (Feel free to improvise)
Breakfast of Champions **(Day 1 – 6)**:
2 eggs any style
sautéed (or raw) spinach (saute in 1 tsp. olive oil)
About 1/3 can beans (I prefer black)
Lunch: Mixed Green Salad with 1 hardboiled eggs, red onions, chicken, 1/2 cup beans, 1/2 avocado, & dressing.
Dinner: My Black Bean Soup & 1 Chicken Breast cooked to your liking (try sautéing on medium heat in garlic, lemon, and pepper for something simple).
Lunch: Mixed green salad with dressing. Left over soup.
Dinner: Try the Shepard’s Pie from the 4-Hour Cookbook (Page 26).
Lunch: Left over soup. Mixed green salad with dressing.
Dinner: Bunless Burgers (Bacon and Egg Burger with Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions and Avocado Slices on the side)
Lunch: Leftover bunless burgers.
2 boneless/skinless chicken breast tenders
3 large leafs of Romaine lettuce
Sea Salt (to taste)
1 cup Black Bean
Salsa (to taste)
Optional Taco elements:
avocados (about ½)
limes for squeezing
cilantro for garnish
Cashew “Sour Cream” by Sarah Britton of My New Roots
½ cup raw cashews
juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
5 Tbsp. water (approx.)
Lunch: Leftover tacos.
Dinner: Your Choice!
Heaven! Go to town. For inspiration, click here.
I’m a fan of leftovers. Can you tell? Leftovers enhance simplicity.
If you find you NEED a snack, indulge on a scoop of raw nut butter (I like almond and cashew butter from Whole Foods). If you are still hungry, EAT MORE BEANS.
Buy organic OR even better, local.
Enjoy an optional glass of Red Wine at dinner!
If you don’t feel like cooking, Mexican restaurants are a solid option. Try fajitas (sans tortillas). Chipotle’s burrito bowls are also convenient (no cheese & no rice on that, please!).
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. Good luck, guys! Be that guy ravenously downing black beans in a coffee shop.
AND for further slow carb concerns/information, buy Tim’s book. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, here. All you need to know is in one easy-to-read chapter in the 4-Hour Body.
January 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
I had low expectations for my butter bean soup, but man were my sensory taste neurons pleasantly triggered! Creamy, light, and filling. As a soup, it was fabulous, but while I was spooning it into my mouth I had an epiphany! Boy, would this taste good on a mound of Cauliflower mashed potatoes*! To use this as a gravy, increase thickness by adding less broth (maybe 3/4 cup). I would also recommend adding some sautéed mushrooms to the mixture pre-blending.
The soup is easy, of course, to whip up!
I made enough soup for 2, but I’d highly recommend doubling the recipe for seconds or for next day’s lunch. Yes, it’s that good.
1 yellow onion
1 T butter (or oil if you don’t have butter)
1 can of butter beans
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp Thyme
Crisp bacon, ham, or pancetta to top
Chives for garnish
Black pepper to taste
1. Melt butter on medium heat.
2. Add onions; cook for about 10 min.
3. Add butter beans, broth, and thyme.
4. Allow to simmer for about 30 sec.
5. Remove from heat for 10 min.
6. Blend mixture.
8. Serve in small bowls or cups.
9. Add bacon and chives on top.
And you’re done. But WAIT there’s more…
* To make cauliflower mashed potatoes, use one head cauliflower. Chop up the cauliflower, doing your best to remove the stems. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring water to a boil. Add in chopped cauliflower. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 5 – 10 min, until the pieces are soft (NOT soggy). Drain water. Add cauliflower to a food processor with some butter. Mix until smooth, like mashed potatoes. Use in Shepard’s Pie (see in 4-Hour Body Cookbook), under bunless burgers, as a side dish, etc. Get creative!
Speaking of cauliflower mashed potatoes, these Cauliflower Mashed Potato Cups look divine (sans cheese!).
I know you’re probably thinking Yuck, Cauliflower!? I get it. I really am not a fan of it in its raw, uncooked form. Yet, it is surprisingly good in its whipped up, cooked form and really DOES taste as good as mashed potatoes. If that’s hard to fathom, try it for yourself and you be the judge. I think your taste buds will be pleasantly wowed. Not only that, but your body will be well nourished.
Cauliflower is a great source of Vitamin C and B vitamins. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and with regular consumption can reduce your risk of arthritis, obesity, diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis. It is notable for its fiber content, helping the digestive system rid the body of impurities. Also, it may be a natural agent in fighting cancer for it contains phytochemicals – chemicals thought to play a role in stimulating enzymes that block cancer cell proliferation.
Not so yuck anymore, right?
January 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
So, I’ve made black bean soup at least 3 times now and I’m still perfecting it! Last night, I came close to black bean soup perfection.
First, though, why black beans? I can’t stress enough how important excess bean consumption is on the slow carb plan. Yeah, you heard me, right. Excess. You should be taking in more beans that you think you should. They should be on your plate at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Why? One, beans are packed with protein. Two, beans are your only source of carbohydrates 6 days a week. Sans beans, be prepared to feel sluggish, delirious, and imbalanced. Plus, legumes (complex carbohydrates) curb cravings for those simple carbohydrates (processed sugar, fruit, etc.) that we are cutting out. Black beans are especially awesome because they are a super food. Perhaps, for all of these reasons, I favor black beans to other beans. They work so beautifully in egg scrambles, salads, and yes, soups!
So, here’s what you’ll need to replicate the almost perfect slow carb black bean sopa!
25 ounce can black beans (or 2 15 ounce cans)
1 yellow (or red) onion minced
1 T cumin
1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped and seeded
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4-6 slices of bacon (I used turkey bacon)
1 T olive oil
1/2 can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes
cilantro or chives for garnish (optional)
1. Heat olive oil in deep sauce pan.
2. Add bacon and cook on medium heat for about 2-3 min.
3. Add onion and jalapeno pepper and cook for about 2-3 min.
4. Add cumin.
5. Add a little more than half of the beans.
6. Add broth.
7. Add crushed tomatoes.
8. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat to let cool for 10 min.
9. Transfer to a blender. Puree on high.
10. Transfer back to sauce pan and add the remaining beans.
11. Cook on low heat for about 3 min.
Last night, I also made beer braised chicken in the slow cooker. It wasn’t intended, but I ended up shredding the chicken and putting it in the soup. Too good!I realized that the soup could deliciously be used as a sauce over chicken and perhaps fajitas (no tortillas, of course!).
* Some other ingredients to experiment with in your black bean sopa experiments:
Garlic, chili powder, chopped red peppers, ham in lieu of bacon, thyme, oregano, bay leave…Sky’s the limit.
** Here’s an Epicurious black bean soup worth trying.
January 4, 2012 § Leave a comment
So, goals are tough to follow through with even if you’re a master in the art of organization, a member of the highly focused camp, and an individual with unwavering motivation. I can’t attest to being a master of anything, a member of anything focused, or an individual with unwavering anything. And that’s just fine. I am, however, still trying to figure out how to reach goals – attempting to decode the process. There’s so much noise out there about acquiring our goals. It’s easy to get lost in the noise. It’s easy to lose focus. It’s so, so, so easy to exhaust, become overwhelmed, lose motivation, and move on to the next best thing. I feel like I’ve lived most of my life moving on to the next best thing. Somewhere along the goal reaching line, I exhaust and my motivation depletes. Maybe I build up too much enthusiasm and wear myself out. Maybe I suffer from a personality that loves change, movement, and stimulation. Maybe I’m too distracted. Maybe my brain is too cluttered. I’ve contemplated over these maybes more than once. While the maybes are (maybe) all valid, they are just more noise and more distraction. Maybes are mere excuses. Mere defense mechanisms. What am I defending? Well, the same thing that everyone is defending. Fear.
Fear. The fundamental emotion that drives us to sadness, depression, and anxiety. Fear. That emotion that shuts us off from being loving and loved. Fear. That fucking voice that gets in the way, tells us we aren’t good enough, and leaves us feeling hopeless and wounded. I’ve battled fear for so long. No. Correction. Fear has battled me for so long. I’ve let it. I’ve let it come in and shit all over my goals, my aspirations, my lovingness, and worthiness. Guess what 2012? Fear is getting an ass kicking. Fear is being subdued.
Why 2012? It’s not like January 1st, 2012 I woke up and said “Fear be gone!”. It’s all been a gradual process. I mean, first off, I didn’t even know fear was consuming me. I didn’t even know how to pair the word “fear” with what I was experiencing and feeling. I just thought life was crazy, messy, and ugly and that I just needed to deal with it like everyone else. When I realized my fear (which took years by the way) and recognized the toll it was taking on me, my life, and my relationships. I realized how detrimental this emotion is when you don’t get a handle on it.
I was dodging fear. I was dodging fear through food, through drink, through drug, and through a plethora of destructive behavioral patterns. I thought I was fighting back, but really, fear was winning. Dodging it, numbing it, eating it, drinking it, and sexualizing it, does not OVERCOME it. What does? Well, it’s a process…
Debunking fear, meant getting to know myself. I never got to know myself. I’m still working on it. I always just kind of went with what I thought I was or what I should be. I never realized what I was – what I am. Because I didn’t know myself, I didn’t know if I was worthy. If you don’t know something, how do you know its any good? That was my dilemma. I measured myself based on what others fed me. If it was negative, I thought I was unworthy. If it was positive, I’d have a temporary moment of relief. Ah, I am okay, that person thinks I am worthy.
Worthiness. The fundamental emotion that makes us feel worthy of love. How can you love something if you don’t know it? Easy, you just can’t! As I get in touch with myself, as I approach my ideal self, I realize that hey, you know what, I’m damn worthy. What else? I’m lovable. What more? I’m a creative thinker. I’m loving. I’m an intellectual. I’m giving. I’m compassionate. I’m flowing with potential for greatness. So are you, if you believe yourself worthy enough to be all that and more. The great thing about knowing yourself, is that no one can ever bring you down with their criticism, their accusations because YOU know that that’s just not YOU.
So, what’s the first step in achieving goals? Realizing that you are, without a doubt, WORTHY. When you feel worthy, you believe yourself worth LOVING. When you love yourself, you love others freely, widely, and openly without shame, without doubt, and without fear. You connect. You build networks filled with amazing individuals. You accept vulnerability (For a great video on vulnerability, see this). You find meaning. Life is seriously way better – way worth sticking around for despite the challenges, loss, disappointments, and bouts of fear that we will undeniably face – when you admit to yourself that you are worthy.
I’d rather NOT be a master in the art of organization. I’d rather NOT be highly focused all the time because I enjoy breathing, observing, experiencing, and just being. Unwavering motivation would be nice, but motivation is not always sustainable. What I’d rather be is a loving human being. I’d rather feel worthy. I’d rather experience unwavering lovingness of myself and of others.
With fear understood and tamed through the recognition of my own worthiness, I’ve achieved goals I never imagined attainable. Here are some…
1) Letting go of a destructive food addiction and developing a new, beautiful relationship with food!
2) Getting a handle on my depression, BPD, and hypomania
3) Achieving emotional stability
4) Finding a loving relationship and committing to it
5) Finding the ability to relax and be present in that relaxation
6) Expressing lovingness toward my family
7) Saying “no” to a path that was rendering me unhappy
8) Following my own, unique path
Man, writing those all out totally brings tears gushing out, because I NEVER imagined any of it to be possible. I had resigned to binge eating, depression, and all of it. I thought, fuck, this is me, and this is my unavoidable, sick reality. Did I feel worthy? Hardly ever. Did I think myself lovable? Not really, no.
In 2011, came worthiness. In came lovingness. Man, am I grateful! It’s such a vital foundation – an integral piece of the goal reaching puzzle. With fear on its way out, I feel like there is so much more beauty and achievement to come.
For a structured, simple goal reaching plan test out this planner. This planner is a great way to debunk your goals, to narrow them down, and to assess their importance. Ultimately, 4 goals are chosen to start with. You map out the ways you will achieve these and when you do, off to the next best thing without defeat!
My four goals? Yoga daily, blogging/writing daily, meditation daily, and reading 1 book/week.
Another great goal tool is Wishcraft – a free e-book to help you achieve your goals and dreams. Very powerful. The exercises are very insightful.
1. Fear is the root of all sadness, shame, depression, anxiety, etc.
2. Worthiness is the root of all beauty, lovingness, connectedness, compassion, etc.
3. With worthiness, our goals become more attainable.
January 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
One, BIG appeal of the slow carb diet is its simplicity. It’s not a high maintenance diet like others I have embarked upon i.e. veganism, raw foodism, etc. Food preparation doesn’t take hours. I’m so happy my days of soaking nuts and legumes hours in advance is over! On the slow carb plan, every meal of the day could easily be whipped up in under 30 minutes. I love it!
To make your life even easier, you should consider incorporating certain tools into your kitchen if you’re going to take on slow carbism (Why not add an -ism?). Here’s a comprehensive list…
Food Processor – Good for making sauces, blending soups, chopping herbs, etc. I have a 9-cup Cuisinart.
Blender – Good for blending soups. I have a cheap Hamilton Beach blender, and it does the job just fine.
Slow Cooker – This is a recent addition to my kitchen. I’m so excited to test it out! It adds a whole new element of creativity (and simplicity) to my meals. It’s so awesome to throw all the ingredients into a pot, sit back, and let it do its magic.
Garlic press – I use minced garlic daily. Without this inexpensive tool, I’d be hard pressed to make my soups, sauces, etc.
Lemon/lime juicer – I use a lot of lemons/limes to add flavor to soups, meats, fish, etc. While you could simply juice by hand, it’s annoying to pick out the seeds and even more annoying to find them in your food. Spare yourself the annoyance and pick up this handy, inexpensive tool.
Deep Saucepan – Necessary for making soups, boiling eggs, etc.
Vegetable Steamer – I tend to saute my vegetables a lot, but sometimes I prefer to steam so I’m not saturating all my veggies in olive oil.
Colander – I always drain my beans to wash away excess sodium.
Can Opener – You’ll be eating loads of beans, so get one of these (if you don’t already own one) quick!
2 Frying Pans – One small, one large. There’s really no need to have a full set of pots and pans. Less is more, especially in a small kitchen prone to messiness and clutter.
Chef’s knife – Get a good one! All you really need to do your chopping is a good quality chef’s knife.
So, that’s it! Well, if I were a hardcore minimalist that would be it. Here are some other fancy tools I could do without, but choose not to :).
For the coffee enthusiasts…
Espresso Maker – While wildly expensive, I don’t regret a penny of this buy.
Coffee Maker – I cannot do without my morning cup of coffee. Okay, I could, but again, I choose not to.
French Press – Before I had my coffee and espresso maker, this was an inexpensive way to make my coffee.
Coffee grinder – Used to grind espresso beans and coffee beans for the French Press.
Stovetop Espresso maker – Isn’t he just cute? I used this a lot pre espresso maker. The espresso turns out pretty decent.
Extra slow carb gadgets…
Egg Poacher – I love poached (technically caudled) eggs. I don’t have this tool, but I plan on investing in one. Since you’ll be eating a lot of eggs, it’s nice to have different ways to prepare them.
CorkPops – “The Fastest, Easiest Way to Open a Bottle of Wine”. It’s true. And fun.
Red Wine glasses
Hand Mixer – I’m on the hunt for one of these too. Why? Well, my guru Tim Ferriss recently contributed a post highlighting ways to age wine. See Method #4. I’ve performed the science experiment. It works!
Omelet Pan – I’m still making my omelets in a nonstick frying pan, but it would be oh-so-nice to have a pan truly dedicated to omelet craft.
Tea Pot – Since my consumption days of juice and other caloric beverages are over, I’ve discovered the beauty of tea! Also, a tea pot is convenient for boiling water for the French Press.
I’m sure there are a plethora of other appliances I could include, but again, less is more. Let’s not get too carried away. The basics are enough to get you going and if you find you’d like to incorporate something new, by all means, do (especially if it makes cooking easier)!
Stay tuned for a list of ingredients integral to the slow carb diet. Let’s get your kitchen fully stocked and loaded for the New Year!
December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
1 shallot (or 1 onion) finely chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tbs olive oil
2 cans lentils (not dry)
3 -4 slices turkey bacon chopped up
1 can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
~3-5 cups Chicken or Vegetable broth
2 tsp Rosemary
2 tsp Thyme
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cilantro for garnish
1. Grab a large pot.
2. Olive oil in.
3. On medium heat, saute onion and garlic. About 2 minutes.
4. In goes lentils, can of tomatoes, turkey bacon, broth (I’d start out with 3 cups here; you can always add more post blending if the soup is too thick), & spices.
5. Turn up heat. Let the soup simmer, then take it off the heat to cool for 5-10 min.
6. Dump the mix in a blender or food processor. Puree until you have yourself a thick, creamy, chunk-less texture.
7. Dump back into large pot. If too thick, add more broth. Keep on low heat until ready to serve.
December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
It doesn’t take much to get me worked up. Yeah, that’s right. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m easily shaken, easily pissed off, easily hurt, easily disappointed, easily scared, and easily annoyed. In the lyrics of Jewel, “I’m sensitive, and I’d like to stay that way.” My emotions have the ability to go from a smooth, flowing calm to a blood boiling, pulling-out-my-hair storm in nanoseconds. I pace ferociously and mindlessly around my space. I hurl out obscenities to the air around me. I create a catastrophe in my brain. I render even the littlest, irrelevant thing the end of my world. Essentially, I’ll perform the adult version of a 2-year-old temper tantrum. Hey, I’m entitled to it. So are you.
So, that inner 2-year-old emerged today. Fortunately, she emerged with only my adult self witnessing. Why the show? Well, UPS did something wrong. They didn’t ring my bell when I was home. Shame on them! Hence, I did not get my package – a package integral to my boyfriend’s Christmas present for the Christmas we are celebrating tonight! So, I did the adult thing: I called my boyfriend to bitch about UPS. Then, I did the real adult thing: I called UPS.
I always forget that people are real people. The UPS guy on the phone isn’t just the UPS guy. He’s a human being. I forgot to care about his human beingness today. In my frenzied, catastrophic state, he was just the UPS guy – the UPS guy that couldn’t fix any of my problems. As the UPS guy, he was the root of my problems. He couldn’t deliver (pun-intended). I was fuming – fuming enough to post a Facebook status update: UPS just ruined Christmas. But why?
At my core, I know it’s a silly package. I know it’s integral to a silly gift. It’s even a silly holiday. It’s all silly! But today it was serious, it was vital, it was a big, hell of a deal. At least, I thought so.
Following a few phone calls, the UPS delivery guy decided to meet me half-way. So, in compromise, I will hunt him down on my block from 4:430pm. Problem solved. “Crisis” averted. I felt like a nut bag.What was with me?
I realized that, maybe, I needed to get worked up. Maybe the situation triggered a surge of emotions that I was dumbing down – anxiety, stress, disappointment, and fear. Maybe UPS gave me an excuse to work out those emotions. Perhaps, the calm was a facade and what I really needed was a solid 2-year-old moment followed by an adult reflection.
I wasn’t going to write a post today because I was feeling too preoccupied, distracted, and unmotivated. Now, after my little performance, I feel good. I feel a release. I feel renewed and truly zen. UPS did me a favor.
The point is that “crises”, detours, and changes happen for a reason. I think they really keep you in check with your emotional state. Your reaction says it all. Analyzing my response, my emotional state was a little (if not more than a little) on edge today. It was good to really get in touch with that – to really recognize and feel it, instead of carrying on with emotional chips on my shoulders. Feeling emotions, whether good or bad, feels good. I’m so happy to feel them!
In the past, I never felt much. No, correction: I didn’t feel at all. I was numb. Had the UPS wronged me a year ago, I would have been pissed off and angry at him. I would have damned his incompetency. I would not have considered his human beingness, because in my mind he was just the UPS guy. I wouldn’t have figured myself, my feelings, and my emotional response into the equation. It was his fault. It was that simple. It had nothing to do with me!
My current self places no fault (Well, once my emotions catch up). First off, shit happens. Second, how I reacted has EVERYTHING to do with me and NOTHING to do with the UPS guy. It’s all me. The UPS guy did not create the catastrophe. I created the catastrophe. You know what, I created it for a reason. I needed to freakin’ feel something!
Reactions, decisions, and everything comes from our emotions. You can say you’re a logical, left brain person all you want, but it’s proven that all reasoning, all sequential thinking, and all so-called logical decisions stem first from an emotional seed. We are probably more like human feelings, rather than human beings. The problem for many of us (myself included), is that we have no idea how to effectively manage our feelings. We don’t even know what to call them! We call fear ‘uncertainty’. We call disappointment and sad ‘pissed off’. We call anxiousness ‘busy’ or ‘tired’ or ‘fed up’. We don’t call things how we feel.
Instead of feeling through a temper tantrum, through crying, through conversation, through journaling, through music, through yoga, through whatever positive outlet possible, we destroy. We eat our feelings. We drug our feelings. We sexualize our feelings. It’s crazy because, for most of my life, this felt so normal.
I’m not so sure if the UPS mess up would have initiated a binge over 6 months ago, but it’s situations, disappointments, catastrophes of that sort that led me to pursue destructive habits that further numbed and ineffectively managed my feelings. Eating diverted my attention away from me and my unwanted emotions. It distracted me. Like drugs and alcohol, it took me to a mindless, stimulated and temporarily satisfying place. But it wasn’t sustainable. While it allowed me to escape, it didn’t bring me an ounce of real happiness. I couldn’t verbalize it at the time, but it made me feel defeated, scared, guilty, failed, and worthless.
Feeling is not weak. It’s good to feel excited! It’s good to feel loving! It’s even good to feel sad! To feel disappointed! It’s so good to recognize feelings, to own those feelings, and to let them just be.
1. You create your own catastrophes. Nothing is inherently a catastrophe. You make it as such.
2. You are emotional. You have feelings. Even if you’re the most rational, logical person on the planet, you act based on emotions. They key is to recognize them and own them.
3. You are entitled to tantrums, crying fits, ferocious pacing, panting, jumping up and down, air punches, air swears, whatever it may be. Just try to do it in a private place. It’s about you. No one should be involved or bear witness to your letting loose moment. After these moments pass, reflect. Ask yourself, What’s really going on here?
4. Bingeing, drugs, sex etc. do make you feel good. Dopamine is released – the happy hormone. The only catch? It’s short-lived. It’s not sustainable. It follows a sustained, long-lived depression until the next binge or stimulus. Luckily, there are ways to sustain happiness that don’t destroy you and your body. Easier said than done, but there are infinite ways! What really makes one happy is a solid self-esteem. If you have self-esteem, you have it all.
5. UPS isn’t mean and they didn’t ruin my Christmas 🙂