Monthly Archives: May 2009

Every year (for the past 15) over the Memorial Day weekend, a large group of friends from college go camping (if you can really call it that) at Banks Lake in eastern Washington.  This year we had the best weather ever, 80s and sunny and perfect every day.  It has never been better.

The problem with this was that I knew it was coming.  Karli is kinda weather obsessed so we were watching the weather starting like 2 weeks before hand.  How could knowing we were going to have beautiful weather the whole weekend be bad?  It meant I needed to buy a bathing suit.

Now, buying a bathing suit is awful when you feel great about yourself.  I haven’t even thought of putting on a bathing suit in years and the idea of walking around in front of anyone showing any amount of skin was terrifying.

I probably tried on 40 suits in several different stores and had two pretty severe break downs due to the stress of it all.  This was not a small feat for me.  But, in the end I did find one that didn’t make me feel totally humiliated. I still had no plans to let anyone see me in it and proceeded to buy cover-ups and shorts and skirts and tanks to keep me covered up.

But you know what, when it came down to it, I got over it and by Monday I was floating around in an inner-tube drinking my beer not feeling self conscious at all.  Huge breakthrough for me.

I think I made a large move toward being comfortable in my body as it is and starting to love myself in it.   This is the first step of success in The Gabriel Method.

This may seem like a baby step, but for me it was  a giant leap.

Mommy and Ada Play in the Water

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After the events of the past week I have come to determine that my frustration over my lack of measurable progress (a.k.a. weight loss) really comes down to the fact that I am jumping the gun.  As long as I have all this emotional baggage the weight will not come off, no matter what I do.  

I just went back and read the emotional obesity chapters of the book and all of it applied to me.    He asks several questions to help you identify whether this issue is holding you back and if it is insists that it be addressed before you ever even discuss eating habits, cravings exercise and past successes and failures.  After the emotional issues have been addressed and resolved then a plan can be put into place to address the rest of it.

The questions go something like this…

  1. Does being thin feel safe to you?
  2. Can you imagine yourself thin?
  3. If someone gives you a compliment on your appearance, does it make you feel happy and confident or threatened and uneasy?

The last two definitely apply to me and the first one just confuses me so I’m guessing that means I can count that one too.  Since I started this whole thing the body visualization has always been the hardest for me.  I just can’t see myself as that thin person.  The thing that weirds me out about that is that I used to be thin, at times very thin.  So you wouldn’t think that imagining myself like that again would be so difficult.  The brain is a bazaar entity.

I have been noticing over the last couple of weeks (and I think where that desperate sad post from last week came from) that even though I am mentally really dedicated to this and have logically set up my environment for success, I find every way and excuse I can to sabotage the process.

  • I “forget” to take my supplements
  • I sneak food.  I will scarf down a burger or milkshake, candy or doughnut and then hide the evidence.
  • I will make up any excuse I can to avoid exercising, even going to yoga, which I love, or a hike with the dog, which is empowering, relaxing and really rewarding.  If there is some reason I can come up with I will take it.
  • I tell myself that just going to sleep (without the CD) will feel good and make me more motivated the next day.

I even avoided reading the emotional section of the book with any focus or meaning.  I just skimmed through it.  Today I read every word.

When I have talked to my therapist about my weight, she always says don’t worry about it now, you have enough on your plate.   Do the emotional work and then deal with the weight.

Another advisor of mine reminded me that I simply need to find out why it is that I don’t feel worthy and correct that and then everything will fall into place as it should.  It is only me that is holding me back.

With the Life Path Integration therapy we are doing it is even possible that we will be able to target whatever the emotional trigger might be and fix it.  It always amazes me how the universe will provide you with all the tools you need if you just listen closely enough.  Many things have been coming to me from many different directions lately and thankfully I am aware enough to be grabbing them.

Karli has also encouraged me to give the emotional stuff more time and stop worrying so much about the physical stuff.  Now that I am feeling better and motivated and productive for the first time in a long time, I am finding it very hard not to want to tackle everything all at once, to take on more than I can handle.  I feel like I am fighting in every direction and that I may simply just need to give into the process.  Pretty hard to do for a total control freak.

I am so grateful that my husband is supportive of me through all this.  He has had his moments of frustration and worry and even a few in anger and hurtfulness, as is only natural when you spouse is going through something like this.  He tries his best to encourage me and prod me to work a little harder.  

Every logical part of me thinks it’s fantastic that I have a husband who loves me the way I am and truly cares about my well being.  But emotionally I think I kinda resent him for it and rebel against it.  This is hard to say, a sort of it’s not you it’s me scenario, but I think I might have to tell him to stop with the encouragement, because just like when we were trying to quit smoking, the gentle nudges and reminders, the words of encouragement in my head remind me that I am failing rather than reminding me that I can succeed.  This is something I need to work on, but in the meantime, I think we just need to drop the whole thing for a while, let me heal what’s broken without any added pressure.

Jon says in his book that while he was gaining the weight, his wife never said a word about it and that when he was ready, he felt he was better prepared to lose the weight because of that.

So, I concentrate on the emotional part and keep preparing my body from a biochemical standpoint so that I will be that much more ahead of the game once I can really target my eating and exercise habits.  I just feel like I need to stop putting so much pressure on myself.   

To all of you looking to the Gabriel Method as a magic pill, I am sorry.  I don’t have instant results to report, or really any weight loss at all.  I can tell you that it is helping me to change my life, to learn about myself and face my fears and tackle the emotional crap that has had me by the throat for most of my life.   It is also helping me learn what it feels like to be a healthy person, teaching my body that it feels good to be nourished and that eating foods that mess with your chemistry makes you tired and cranky and feel generally icky.

This is my first step and the thought that on the other side of this journey I could be not only thinner and more fit, but also a more whole and emotional healthy person is very exciting to me.

I am going to keep taking the supplements and integrating healthy foods into my diet, but I am throwing out the schedule and week 1 week 2 month 1 stuff for a while until I can answer the questions above with confidence and positivity.  Fixing myself needs to be my priority right now.  I have made huge progress, I just need to finish it before I start worrying about pounds and waist measurements and scheduled regimented programs.  

I’m ok if I stay this weight forever, as long as I don’t gain any more.  (those of you who have read the book will understand the meaning and gravity of this statement)

So here is the new plan (because I wouldn’t really be me if I didn’t have one)…

  1. Keep working hard at therapy and stop distracting us with day to day bullshit.  I have demons to fight so let’s get on with it.
  2. Listen to the CD every night, no excuses, no exceptions
  3. Start reading about past life regression
  4. Read the book No Boundary by Ken Wilber (Jon mentions it in a section of the book that really resonates with me)
  5. Actively radiate love, forgiveness and appreciation
  6. Accept the negative and accept myself and my body just as they are.  This includes no scales.

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I had all these plans to have posts banked to release over the next couple of days while I am enjoying a weekend of sun and fun with my family and friends, but alas, it just didn’t happen.

I hope all of you have a wonderful long weekend. Catch you on the flip side (ooh, cheezy — Ouch!)

After over a week of rededicating myself to The Gabriel Method, I am feeling better and better about it.

The one thing that I have really determined is that the visualisation CD is central to this.  I was really tired one night and really just wanted to snuggle in my soft clean sheets and go right to sleep so I skipped the CD.

The next day I felt a significant difference in my attitude and motivation.   I ate fast food for lunch and really craved some chocolate in the afternoon and was generally not as productive throughout the day.  Now, I am not going back to bad days and good days because that is really unproductive, but on other days when I had listened to the CD the night before, I had no problem making good choices and following through on my plans for the day. 

It has become pretty clear to me that listening to the CD every night, at least in the beginning, is integral to my success.

I am also noticing that when I make poor food choices my body lets me know about it.  Yesterday I had an amazing day out with a good friend.  We went to breakfast and I couldn’t resist having eggs benedict, my absolute favorite.  It was fine and I am not going to feel guilty about splurging, but I could tell that my body wasn’t very pleased with me about it.  So I had a smoothy with whey for lunch which amazingly lasted me till dinner.  After dinner I had a brownie for dessert, which I was really looking forward to but didn’t really do anything for me.  Good to note.  This morning, I woke up feeling nauseous.  Telling, right?

I just need to keep these things in mind when I make decisions about what I am going to eat.  I’d say the eggs benedict was totally worth it, but the brownie definitely wasn’t.  

My major accomplishment for the week was that I was really motivated to stay active and accomplish my daily list.  Almost every day I checked everything off my list, including the cleaning list (and we all know how bad I am at getting that list done).   I also really looked forward to doing something active each day.  I went to yoga on both Monday and Wednesday this week and I took Pella for a long walk on Tuesday and Thursday.  

Ever since we moved here 8 years ago, I have been thinking that walking up to the water reservoir, around and back would be a great walk and quite a workout.  There are some very steep hills and beautiful views at the top.  It is trails most of the way and not a lot of road time.  We don’t have sidewalks where I live so walking on the road can be a little perilous.   

I have always had an excuse as to why it was too far or too hilly or too hard and I have never done it.  This week, I did it.  It was one hour there and back and I felt fantastic.  It was a great workout with several spots that were perfectly suited to a quick sprint to get those flight instincts activated.  It was awesome!

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A friend of mine was having problems transitioning her son off his bottle.  She had waited a little longer than recommended and he was very attached to it.  I think this is a very common situation for many of us. 

I shared with her a product I had found that helped me to transition Ian off the bottle and it seemed to work well for her so I thought I would share it with you as well.

Mom Tip — 9oz Nuby No Spill 3-Stage Bottle

This bottle has handles like a sippy cup and two types of nipples.  One regular bottle nipple and one soft no-spill sippy cup shaped nipple.

When you start your transition,  you can give him the regular bottle with the handles so he gets used to hold it himself (assuming you are starting at this stage).

Then you can change out to the sippy nipple and he will learn the different feel of that and how to drink effectively from a cup in a form factor that is still familiar to him.  

My friend and I both found that a little while of this and our boys were ready and quite willing to switch entirely to a cup.

One of the major things for Ian is that he really liked cuddling up with his milk and snuggling on my lap while he drank.  I highly encourage you to keep up whatever your bottle routine is when switching to a cup.

Ian still snuggles in for his warm before bed milk.   He is growing up so fast and is always so busy that I cherish this time with him.  I smell his head and it reminds me of when he was still a baby.  How quickly they grow up.

9oz Nuby No Spill 3-Stage Bottle

To all the amazing, strong, beautiful and brave moms out there —  The Happiest of Mother’s Day.

All my love and good wishes to you all.  Make sure to do something wonderful for yourself today.

It’s a funny thing about fear.  Sometimes when you say it out loud and face it directly it recedes and sometimes even disappears all together.  

I would like to thank everyone for the unexpected and very much appreciated outpouring of support.    Your words of  encouragement made a really bad day a whole lot better and gave me the confidence to push past it.  Thank-you.

I wish I could say my fear is gone, but alas that simply isn’t how it is in this case.  But, by owning my weaknesses I have come to understand them a little better and can now move forward with my eyes open.

I wish I could snap my fingers and make the self doubt and mistrust go away, but life doesn’t work that way no matter how much we wish it could be.  The only thing to do now is take one day at a time and enjoy the good ones and let the bad ones go.  I just need to keep moving and find a way to have some success.

I have several ways of going about this.  My freelance business is doing well and I am having success with my therapy.  The next step is giving over to my ability to be thin again.  

It is time to buckle down and really commit to some way of getting healthy.  I talk about this a lot, but each new thing lasts a couple of weeks and then dwindles slowly until it just stops all together.

So, I am committing to the Gabriel Method, which I believe addresses my personal health issues.  I have come up with a plan and although i am not starting completely over like I thought I would have to, I am starting fresh and considering this day 1.

I made myself a sort of sign that I taped to the kitchen cabinets.  On this piece of paper is my meals planned out for the week.  This is not ‘eat this at this time’ but really just a list of good healthy meals that I have planned out in advance and have available to me so when I go to think about what I want for lunch, I can look at the list and see several things to choose from, any of which would be just fine, but steering me away from the dangers of standing in front of the fridge or pantry, hungry and vulnerable.

I also have included a daily schedule of stuff that I need to do, like taking supplements, drinking water, eating a snack, doing visualization, eating the sun and taking a power nap as well as a list of things to remember.  

I will make a new one of these each week to help me remain focused.  

In order for these habits to truly take, I need to do the same set of things every day, not just when I feel like it.  I think that because this is not a diet with a regimented food and exercise plan that it is easy to take the eat what you want when you want for granted.  This doesn’t work if you aren’t listening to what it is your body wants.  

For example, the afternoon rolls around and I always crave sweets then, so even if it isn’t what my body wants I still eat it without really even thinking about it.  Where as if I had just listened and tried a couple of techniques to give my body what it really does want, I might have been able to avoid eating that.  And if after all that I still really craved that sweet treat, then I could have eaten it and enjoyed without guilt, knowing that those cravings will go away on there own with time.

It is really a change in the way I think about it.  This is what happened when I finally quit smoking and I am positive that a fundamental shift in my thinking will be necessary with this as well.  

Much like when I quit smoking for the last time, I must give over to it and accept that this is the way things are going to be from now on, that I have made this decision and there is not turning back from it.

So after that particularly negative and self loathing post about my progress, I went looking for a support forum.  I really wanted a forum specifically for people using The Gabriel Method and not just some random forum for people looking for information about it.

Luckily I found what appears to be a good one.  I have joined and poked around a little and even posted a reply. 

Check it out

Let’s get real here.  I feel weak.  I doubt my ability to do this and I am self sabotaging like you would not believe.  Yet one more thing that terrifies me.  I am so tired of being afraid.  I don’t even know what I am so damn scared of.  I just walk around wallowing in my own fear.

If you have been reading this blog for awhile then you know that I am recovering from postpartum depression and have been seeing a therapist for the last six months.  Just yesterday she was telling me how fearless I am in my therapy, how strong I am and how dedicated I am to getting better. It is my disgust with this fear and doubt that drives me to do more and dig deeper in therapy, but it is moments like this that also show me that I have so far to go.  Why is it that I can be so fearless and committed to that, but so weak and afraid when it comes to committing to my own health.

I need to remind myself how far I have come.  I am no longer depressed or having panic attacks.  I have down days, but nothing like it used to be.  That is a long way to come from where I was, which was in a very dark hole, alone and broken.  I took no medication to accomplish this, but faced it head on and worked through it.  This is a huge accomplishment and I am proud of it.

But with that said, there are many more issues to tackle, not the least of which is my inability to fully commit.  This is the issue affecting this particular process for me.   When I choose something, I feel very committed to it and it starts off that way, but as obstacles pop up and it gets a little tougher my resolve dwindles and I slowly lose my willingness to do what it takes. 

One of the main tenants of The Gabriel Method is not to bring cheating into it.  Don’t think of it as taking away, but as adding.  This is all fine and dandy, but when I break down and scarf a jumbo jack in the car on the way home from a particularly tough therapy session or find myself six deep in mini peanut butter cups after a phone call with my mother, I feel like I have failed, like I cheated and then it all goes down hill from there.  Let the closet binge eating begin.

This is hard for me to say, but last night I was watching the biggest loser and they were talking about the habits that got them to the point where they were when they started the show and I can see those habits in myself.  I am not there yet, still just in the overweight category, but I can see how it gets there.

I weighed myself this morning because I felt I needed to.  I couldn’t control my urge to know the bad news, like I needed to feel guilty about it.  Up three pounds.  Now, I do not blame The Gabriel Method for this, in fact he even says in his book that you might gain a few pounds in the beginning as you break the cycle of shame that goes along with food.   This is my fault, I didn’t dedicate myself to doing what Jon said every day.  I didn’t follow the rules, however simple they were.   I let my life and my fears interfere with my commitment.  Classic me.

There is positive growth to be seen in this first month though.  I have learned quite a bit about eating healthier and think a lot about how to make sure I am getting the main three things in my meals (protein, omega and live food).  I have even been pretty good about breakfast, but not every day.  I have done really all the things he instructs for month one, just not consistently.  Again, lack of true commitment.

I want to commit, I want to give over to the process.  In order for things to truly change you need to commit to the process for the whole month, or 21 days really.  But that doesn’t mean half ass for a month, that means every day.

So where to go from here.  I feel like I should start over, because I am not ready to add on at this point.  I don’t feel like I have made the month one steps second nature, which is the point or breaking it down that way.  I am already overwhelmed, adding more just seems like a good way to self sabotage at this point.

I do know that I need to go back and read the book from cover to cover again.  I also saw on Jon’s website that you can contact Jon directly so I think I might do that.  

Well, sorry that I don’t have fantastic news of miraculous weight loss to share at the end of month 1, but I am not giving up.    I am confident that this is the right program for me, I just need to find a way to truly commit myself.  I will update in the next couple of days as I figure out what my new plan is.

Buy The Gabriel Method book now!

When I was little my mom used to make me poached eggs when I had an upset stomach.  It has become of form of comfort food for me.

The problem is that poaching eggs in water is messy and kinda smelly and a good portion of the egg white is lost to the spinning web of egg white strings (yuck).  Yet, poached eggs are still my favorite way to eat eggs and when I started The Gabriel Method and knew I was going to need to eat more eggs, making poached eggs easy was a must.

I found this nifty little gadget at the super market that makes poaching eggs a breeze.  It is basically an insert for a small frying pan.  You put an egg in one or more of the depressions and a little water in the unused ones, cover it and cook until it is cooked how you desire.  No fuss, no muss.  Brilliant!

So, now I can have my favorite comfort meal easily and regularly.  A few additions and alterations makes it a great Gabriel Method breakfast choice.

Poached Eggs On Toast

1 slice of sprouted wheat toast
1 t. organic butter
1 omega egg
1 T ground flax seed
1 T raw seeds or nuts
1 piece of fruit – organic, local and in season preferable

Toast and butter the bread, then cut it up into little squares.  

Cook the egg according to your poachers directions or your preferred method and then place the egg on top of the toast bites.  Cut it up into bites, top with flax and seeds and then mix it up so the yolk gets evenly spread throughout the toast bites.  Add a little salt and pepper and enjoy.

Make sure to include a piece of fruit, a salad or some veggies for the live portion of you meal.  The protein is found in the eggs and seeds and the omegas in the eggs, flax and sprouted bread (if your sprouted bread has flax in it).

Before you eat, take an enzyme and some omega and your all set.

Buy The Gabriel Method book now!