Thursday, May 14, 2015

Eating three meals a day when life gets hectic is tough.

Image compliments of

These eating and other compulsive behaviors are so hot right now.  It is exactly correlated with me having an increase in contact hours with students and a crazy schedule.  In the next ten days I'm seeing one person 3 times and another once.  I am subbing for an advanced Viniyoga group that I sometimes see.  I also have full time job and one other group class that I teach.  Oh, yeah, and... next Wednesday is my son's fourth birthday and next Sunday is a big party... we have guests coming in.

It's easy to say that I'm so busy and it's causing a deep rebellion inside of me.  What's harder is to go deeper, and see that the anger and fury is over the fact that nothing ever seems to come out of my schedule, it only seems to get piled on higher and deeper.

I'm managing to eat three meals a day these last few days, but I did have an ice cream incident over the weekend, we'll just call it.  No guilt... moving on!  But ice cream is an old "danger" food, and I've analyzed it in therapy as well - cool, creamy, mother's milk type stuff.  Sometimes good for hot anger, sometimes a balm for sadness.

Though the first habit of Lean Habits is to eat 3-4x a day, I always try to stick to three meals.  That leaves me room for a beer after dinner.  Sometimes these days I have a beer with dinner and a beer after dinner (or a glass of wine).  I know that I'm saving that fourth meal for something that I enjoy during this epic workfest as a means of managing stress (not the best way, but a way...).  I'm still getting to bed most days having consumed less than I used to.  I believe I"m on my way toward creating a deficit, even in the face of some of the longest hours I've ever worked.

As I finish these case studies, I will get to the point where I only have one more full four visit case study left to finish my training.  I am planning to give myself June as a break while I reach out to the healthcare community to find a third client dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I'll have a couple more contact hours to add beyond that for my practicum, but knowing that I can see previous clients to fill those hours rather than having to document a whole extra case is fantastic.  I document all my work using SOAP notes and short and longterm treatment goals.  However keeping these notes and compiling a case study are two different beasts!

I was lucky to receive the work of an AVI graduate Aggie Stewart in advance of my recent work in Rhuematoid Arthritis.  She published a fabulous piece that helped me prepare for my work with my next few clients dealing with this condition.

Stewart, Aggie.  "Joint Ventures: Helping Those With Rheumatoid Arthritis Live Well."  International Journal of Yoga Therapy No. 23 (2) 2013

I was reminded of the importance of joint protection and also reminded that the primary focus of RA treatment is breath work.  All else leads to breath work.  I know the intention is to soothe, to activate the parasympathetic nervous system... secondarily to activate the circulation with some standing postures... but generally to work in a langhana direction.

Aggie's article specifically reminded me to put breath first... meaning to spend a good deal of instruction time with the breath before moving into gentle asana.  She also reminded me of the art of the break... with the suggestion that one of her clients had used the moment when the mug is warm and full of tea as a way of sending soothing to the fingers.  I loved that!  The last suggestion that seems small but is so important (and had sort of slipped off my radar) was to get the joints moving before putting weight on them in the morning.  Just gentle flexing and extending of the fingers, the toes, the wrists, and the ankles.

So as I type I see the joy this work is bringing me.  Would that I didn't feel at war with myself over it.  Would that some things could fall off my plate instead of the plate getting ever bigger.  And as the plate gets bigger with responsibilities, my hunger grows deeper.  But it's not for food.  It's for me to slow down.


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