Tag Archives: mindfulness

The Mad-Eye Moody method of mindfulness practice

moody

Gretchen Rubin has a theory that we are all either abstainers or moderators. Abstainers find it easier to give something up entirely, and moderators can have a little bit of something and then stop.

When I first heard this theory, it made sense to me and I believed myself to be an abstainer. It’s true that the best way for me to not binge eat is to not have the foods that I tend to binge on in the house. But ultimately, this categorisation of myself wasn’t very helpful because it meant that if I did eat a piece of chocolate, I could justify eating the whole box because “I’m an abstainer so I actually can’t stop.” Then, feeling sick with sugar and shame, I would vow never to touch chocolate ever again. And I wouldn’t. Until the next time I ate far too much in one go.

Eventually, I decided to try just eating one piece of chocolate, or having a few spoonfuls of ice-cream without devouring the whole tub. And while it is difficult, I found that it is perfectly possible to put the food away and not finish it. After a while of doing this, it became easier to enjoy a small amount but know when to stop.

So, I much as I admire other things that Gretchen has to say, I’m calling bullshit on the abstainer-moderator theory because at it’s best it gives us an excuse not to try and change our behaviour, and at worst encourages the cycle of bingeing and purging. It reinforces the message that we are “just like this”, that there is no other way.
Continue reading

What happens when you stop fighting?

IMG_0639

After I was diagnosed with “severe anxiety” I resigned myself to a lifetime of panic attacks and mood swings. Once I did that, I stopped having them.

Okay, it’s only been about three weeks since I last broke down in hyperventilating hysterics for no real reason at all, so I hardly think I’m “cured”. But it turns out that things get much easier once you stop beating yourself up about something and start showing yourself compassion.

I stopped telling myself I needed to stop being so ridiculous, and let myself relax. I stopped panicking that I was about to start panicking, and accepted that I probably would at some point, but it would be okay and that I didn’t need to worry about it before it happened. I accepted that I was ill, and I started treating myself more like somebody who needed a bit of help. I went to bed early, I stopped insisting that all my time be productive, I stopped making myself do things I didn’t want to do.

Once I noticed how good this felt I started doing it in other areas of my life.
Continue reading

What are we doing here?

green-window

Ouch. Crap. Every day I trip over something on our bedroom floor. This morning it was a motorcycle boot. Yesterday it was a stack of weights. There is too much stuff in here. It’s our bedroom, living room, study, gym and garage. There is a bed, two desks, a sofa, a workout bench, three sets of shelves, two clothes rails, a chest of drawers and a wardrobe. I have a pinterest board full of minimalist spaces, and am living in chaos.
Continue reading

Learning to be patient

photo-1444703686981-a3abbc4d4fe3

When I wrote that my word for the year would be peace, I did not expect it to be such a struggle.

“Oh, it’ll be easy,” I thought “I’ll just stop doing things and wanting things.”

Oh wow. Trying to stop yourself wanting things so much is painful. Forcing yourself to wait it out rather than doing something the moment you think it would be a good idea is hard. I’m learning to be patient.

I’ve learnt that there are two different types of wanting something. There are the things I want just so that I can want something, and then there are the things that are truly worth having.

Firstly, wanting for the sake of wanting.

I feel like I need to be changing things in my life to feel any forward momentum.
Continue reading

The day I stopped arguing for my caffeine addiction

caffeine

This image from unsplash.com makes me really miss coffee.

It was the weekend before Christmas, and I was celebrating having a couple of weeks off work by burrowing deeper into my duvet and entering into full on relaxation mode. It was quiet, it was cosy, it was peaceful… My husband jumped out of the bed.

“Come on, it’s time to go to the gym.”

“What?!”

“Come on, doesn’t the class you normally go to start at 10?”

“Well yes, but…”

The truth was, I was planning to give myself the day off. But being stubborn and competitive, I wasn’t going to let him go by himself. So I dragged myself out of bed and left for the gym.

Without having a cup of tea.
Continue reading

Plans for 2016

Image from https://unsplash.com/

Image from https://unsplash.com/

I am going to enter 2016 with the idea that I have everything I need to be happy – relationships, possessions, job, health – and my resolution will be to enjoy them rather than to improve or acquire.

My word for 2016 will be peace. I’m going to focus on staying still. This seems counter intuitive to me too – how can there be growth without movement? But since wondering what happens at the end of the list, I’ve started to think that this is something I really need to explore.

I’ve always been good at striving towards something, but not very good at enjoying it when I get there. 2016 is going to be a “let’s enjoy what I’ve got here” kind of year.

I will still obviously do things. But I’ll do things for the sake of doing them, for fun, rather than for self-improvement or to get me somewhere I think I will enjoy more. I’ve never approached life like this before. I’m pretty excited about trying it.

Basically, it’s going to be the year of being myself, and of being AWESOME.
Continue reading

Fresh starts don’t exist, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change

How many times have you started something or somewhere new and told yourself “This is going to be different”?

I went to university determined to reinvent myself but found myself feeling out of place downing shots in nightclubs, desperately lonely and wondering why.

I switched to more interesting jobs, only to slip back into the same patterns of procrastination.

I started new relationships promising myself that this time I will be the perfect girlfriend, that I won’t let the crazy show. Only to find myself binge eating cookies whilst crying my eyes out.

Despite this, part of me believed that coaching was going to “fix” me. That now I know that most of my suffering is caused by my own thoughts, I’ll be able to coach myself out of having a crisis. I’ll be completely in control all of the time.

How wrong I was
Continue reading