Taking care of my animal

I am sitting in my sunny living room sipping a cup of decaf coffee and listening to the wind chimes. I am happy and proud because this cup of joe is the first I’ve had in more than 15 days.

I know, right?!

It was Whole 30 that brought me to blogging in 2016 and here I am writing about food and drink and detox programs once again. Like before, I wasn’t looking to shed any significant weight, nor do I think restrictions are a great idea for someone with a disordered eating history, but I was looking to break the nightly wine / daily coffee cycle and I needed a bit of outside accountability. What better way than to talk your husband into joining you on a “program”(thank you, dear!) pay a little money (this helps with commitment) and work with a friend who also happens to be a coach?

You may ask, what’s the big deal about a little wine and coffee?

There is no big deal, coffee is magical and wine is too, but I was realizing that every evening before the grapes had worn off that I was SO looking forward to my morning pot of French press. Likewise, every afternoon when the java jitters were still settling I was eyeing the clock for the appropriate time for a glass of sav blanc.

This wasn’t a huge deal, especially in the summer when the days are more relaxed, but it dawned on me after a major blow up with my husband just after school started—with all its activities and early mornings—- that perhaps this life-style wasn’t serving me any longer, that maybe I needed to even out my energy levels in a more natural manner to better handle my stress. My kids were calling me out on my habits too. Out of the mouth of babes!

The way I was taking care of myself, using borrowed energy in the morning and sedating myself in the evening, reminded me of Liz Gilbert’s words in a recent Goodlife project interview:

Inside my animal is a supercomputer that is aware of awareness and beholds sparks of Divinity. But the supercomputer has a hardware of bones, muscles and a digestive system. To access the super computer I must take care of the animal that houses it. I can’t treat it like a rented mule. It needs a soft place to sleep, healthy food, walks in the sunshine, and it can’t be traumatized, abused, stressed, pushed or worked to its limit— beyond what it can happily do. Once the animal is taken care of, the supercomputer will know what to do next, will make good, creative, worthwhile decisions.

These are words I had to keep coming back to when my body was physically riddled with cravings and I was wondering why I was trying to clean up my act. I had to remind myself that

I was taking care of my animal so that my supercomputer could perform.

I was resting in order to nourish my being instead of depleting my adrenals.

I was slowing to a pause on purpose instead of lulling myself with a glass of wine.

I’m happy to report that I am still enjoying coffee shops sans coffee and that a glass of wine is extra delicious when it doesn’t happen every day. I am also happy to report that it feels so damn good to set a goal and to reach it, and to remind myself I can break habits and change behaviors.

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