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Night #9: Sleep, Baby, Sleep

Posted Aug 26 2008 11:41pm



Continued from: Hypnosis Night #8 [ link ]

It really feels like I'm creating new habits and it's not beneficial to vary from them. For example, I've determined that I do best if I go to bed at the ridiculously early hour of between 10-11 pm. Manley sometimes tries to coax me into staying up longer, but if I do, I don't feel so great the next morning. Sleep is best when it occurs at the same time every single day.

There, I said it. I don't like it, but I said it. If better health is what I want, I've got to play by the rules. Sigh.

Let's just recap. Without your health, you have nothing. N.o.t.h.i.n.g. That statement, once you truly believe it, helps prioritize a whole bunch of daily decisions. However. While becoming an exercise nut can get so time-consuming that all you end up doing is exercising, perhaps it's not the worst choice if it means good health? I just know that in the past, the fitter I've become, the more I needed to work out to get a good workout and I couldn't figure out where to balance it all out. Last time this happened, my job took care of it for me. I had to work so many hours a week in a startup business that I made no time for exercise or sleep and gradually returned to my previous state of human jell-o. Bad!

I think I started to write about this health topic the other day and went off on some other tangent. What I wanted to say is, I've seen a number of people get cancer in the past year or two, and each of them is doing anything they can to regain their health. When the Crazy Sexy Cancer author was on Oprah, she said (if I'm remembering right), All I can control is what I eat, what I drink, and what I think, so that's what she puts her attention on. She eats exquisitely well (lots of veggies, fruits, fish), does some wicked yoga, and married he husband for LOVE despite the colony of tumors on her liver and lungs. To see her you'd say, That woman is very, very healthy. So far, her routine is keeping the (very likely terminal) cancer where it was when she learned of it.

Was she this health conscious before she was diagnosed? Nope. But she became a very fast learner. Do we each need a big scare to become better care givers of our body and our selves?

We shouldn't but we seem to.

I see that Wolf known as disease and ill-health prowling around this planet. It's my responsibility to do what I can to prevent it. Control the things I can control.

This (can) contradict intuitive eating for some people, but when deciding what to eat, I do like to ask, Does this help or hurt my health? In fact, I like to ask that with most things I decide in life: Does this help or hurt what I want out of/in my life?It doesn't mean I pick the best answer, but I'm aware of it....And portion control is the great food liberator. Moderation is the key to a vast array of pleasure, no?

I know, I'm getting all serious on you, but this taking one's health for granted business has a really limited shelf life. I got the wake up call earlier than some because I found as a teenager that I could easily gain weight where my friends remained slender despite their abhorrent food and exercise habits. That monster doesn't usually catch up to people until their in their 30's. It tracked me down much sooner.

Back to now. I've caved into the Sleep Has to Be a Regular Routine ball and chain concept. I definitely envy the few people I've known who truly require very little sleep. I worked with a Professor who need just 3-4 hours a night. I think Martha Stewart is the same way. The Professor was always the same weight, never seemed tired, and went running each day before starting work. That's an efficient system! He probably achieved the work of two dedicated people because of this. The rest of us mortals probably need 6-8 hours a night.

As for eating, my appetite is in the very enjoyable Under Control zone right now. When it's so calm like it is now, I can't imagine how it could ever change. It's much like, dare I say it, when one is well into a diet, has the routine down, and it's all going tickety -boo and you tell yourself, I am so never going to overeat again!

Well we all know where that one goes. Regain!

The key is to take responsibility for all the moments, not just the good ones. That turning point between listening to what your body needs and providing it, versus getting stuck in your head and trying to feed emotional or habitual needs with physical food (wrong tool for the job!), is the thing I'm trying to watch out for. That's when the doorway to self-destruction is flying open.

In intuitive eating books many authors tell you to both feed it and pay attention to it. I'm beyond the point of wanting or needing to feed it (an emotional need). How many zillion times in your life do you need to overeat to learn that overeating doesn't feed what's eating you when you're not truly hungry? Is that not the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results?

I didn't realize I had things to say today. I sat down here, upon waking, thinking, That hypnosis CD really knocked me out last night. But it seems, besides the experiences I have, awake and asleep, while listening to the CD, there's a lot of stuff stirring up in my that I'd like to understand better.

When people are (intentionally as opposed to naturally) eating intuitively, to stop overeating, it seems there are two defaults. You either consciously overeat or consciously undereat.

I've always leaned toward the overeating side, losing weight very, very slowly. Which isn't a bad thing, but tells me the level of panic I have about letting go of food and what I mistakenly think is self-comfort and control.

Others lean toward slightly undereating, losing weight faster, but slipping into more of a diet mentality with the intuitive eating, because the weight loss is easily measurable and, it's downright exciting to be eating exactly what you want and still lose weight.

Others while learning intuitive eating eat excessively and gain a chunk of weight. That's never happened to me probably because, if I'm being mindful of my eating, I can't overconsume (beyond what I need for my current body weight).

As for last night, I made myself go to bed at 11 pm, despite that alluring look in Manley's eyes. I played the hypnosis CD, part way through I woke up to it shutting off (the battery was dead). I fumbled to change the battery in the dark, and played it again from the beginning, falling asleep early on.

I still have this dorky Cop in my head who says, You can't listen to that twice! As if it's inappropriately selfish or self-indulgent or excessive. It sounds trivial but I think it's significant because it reminds me of other times and ways I have neglected my well-being because of this dump Cop in my head. I'm watching for him now. Him and my insane inner grandmother Eunice, who wants to call 9-11 because I've missed meal I wasn't hungry for.

By the time I've reached 30 days of listening, I'll probably have about a dozen unhelpful characters I've identified in my head!

As for the hypnosis last night, well, I slept. I don't remember much right now. I've been having some stomach aches and I remember waking up to that a few times, but other than that, this baby slept.

The Plan Today:
- eat what I want, when I want, erring on the side of caution. I'm craving stir frys, so I'll shop for that tomorrow.
- hypnosis at bed time. Get to bed between 10-11 pm. Grumble!
- exercise: house and garden work only, back to aerobics tomorrow (weekdays 5x week)
- fun: Mozart concert with my girl. She's all excited because she gets to meet the symphony players afterward. Hopefully this will excite her into practicing her piano more heartfully. Ok, kidding myself.

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