Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2015-07-08

How Getting Neutral About Food Helped Dara Drop Sugar

When I posted my thoughts about being a good ally to fat folks by getting neutral about food, Dara and I have had a lot of conversations about it, including a pretty startling revelation that I wasn’t aware of. It turns out that Dara, working to get neutral about her food self-talk in order to be a better ally to me as a fat person, was able to transition to a low-sugar anti-cancer lifestyle a lot easier with food neutrality than if she had kept up agonizing about food being “bad” or “good.” Her words on this are below.

bevindarapridePhoto by Tinker Coalescing.

What Dara says is in alignment with what Health Coach Isabel Foxen Duke says about the diet-binge cycle. Hating your body creates the desire to emotionally eat which is a feedback loop that causes more body hatred. When you get neutral about your food it helps you detach from emotional eating as well.

Some background of Dara’s choice to go for a low-sugar anti-cancer diet. We believe pretty strongly that her breast cancer was the result of high stress. Prior to doing the Anti-Candida Murder plan I read the book The Candida Cure, which talks about how when your body is stressed out, your blood sugar spikes–just as though you ate a donut. Lots of studies show lots of things about preventing cancer reoccurrence but for sure creating a less stressful lifestyle comes up a lot. Lots of studies talk about how cancer feeds off sugar. So, we believe stress becomes sugar and sugar feeds cancer. (Dara did a video blog about this theory when she announced she was stepping back from the global initiative she started and self-funded.)

The eating plan she follows is based on Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Cancer diet, if you’re interested in reading more. Lots of green veggies, plant-based whole foods, a little bit of meat (that’s not in the Kris Carr plan, but you do what you do), whole grains, yadda yadda yadda.

Anyway, here are Dara’s words about getting to food neutrality.

IMG957531Dara doing paddleboard yoga during our trip to Key West.

When Bevin first asked me to stop talking outloud about my uphill battle with cutting sugar from my diet (a step that research suggests prevents cancer recurrence), I had mixed reactions. I mean, cancer is a whole different thing than body positivity, right? Surely, the same rules of food neutrality don’t apply to me?

Because I love my partner deeply, and so respect the work she does in the world to help everyone love and value their bodies, I decided to give it a try. (I mean, I could always use the Cancer Card to say, “Baby, this just isn’t working for me” and know I would get a free pass.) Instead, I decided to give it a shot… and in doing so, I had a surprising and powerful realization: IT ACTUALLY GOT EASIER TO SAY NO TO SUGAR!

I don’t know how it happened to be honest, but I think it got easier to say no to sweets because instead of badgering myself (outloud often) about whether or not I should eat something, and what it would mean about me, and my lack of discipline, or my willingness to commit to staying alive… instead of having this agonizing back and forth, I instead just said a simple ‘no thank you.’ And that was that.

What would normally take up at least 10 minutes of space in my brain, and cause unknown quantities of anxiety and self-flagellation pretty much just went POOF! Gone. Buh-Bye!

It made me realize just how much my anxiety about what I was eating was wrapped up in my head. How much of a victim I was to my own insecurities and doubts. Making the decision to be neutral about food put me back in control, and enabled my rational brain to take the lead, while my negative internal chatter was forced to sit quietly in the back of the room.

Now, I’m not saying it’s easy to turn down cookie-cake or a jelly-filled donut when offered – and I’m not even saying that I do turn it down all the time. But I will say that it no longer consumes my thinking like it once did. And I no longer feel guilt or shame about my decisions. I feel stronger, more in control… and (as a result of the fact that I now eat less sugar) can say that I have a better chance of living the rest of my life cancer-free.

IMG_7020At the Dyke March in 2014, just about a month after her last chemo treatment.

I am grateful to Bevin for helping me better understand the idea of body currency and food neutrality. As a fat ally, I have for sure sought to prioritize ways of being that enable all bodies to been loved exactly as they are. But this side benefit of being able to apply the concepts to my own health, to be able to live a longer, happier life? That one I didn’t see coming.

It’s true what Dara said, if she needed to keep externally processing about food to support her anti-cancer goals we would have come up with another solution, another way to talk about food that isn’t laden with shame and guilt. We work together to mutually support our goals. I’m really grateful that I had a way in which I needed her to work as a thin ally to me and it ended up enhancing her goals!

You can read more about Dara’s cancer journey on her cancer Tumblr page as well as read my posts about going through chemo and her diagnosis process.

2011-09-18

Travel Report: Rehoboth Beach, DE

After the debacle that was our trip to Atlantic City, when Cougar and I decided to skip town for a couple of days for her birthday (9/11, never forget) I suggested we go gay. Fire Island was a possibility but with room rates hovering at $120 and above we thought we could get a better bargain someplace else.

IMG_0598.JPG

It occurred to me I’d never been to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, despite wanting to go for over a decade. When I lived in Philly my fellow queers went often, I think it is similar to the relationship New Yorkers have with Fire Island–daytrippable and hella gay.

So we packed up the car and departed for our near-four hour journey South. It was an easy drive down the turnpike but the tolls were pretty killer–all told we spent $43 round trip. Though of course the journey is sometimes the destination and I like road trips. We had no traffic but I did get pulled over by a cop just outside Rehoboth for touching my phone (to check the GPS, I swear!) but got off with just a warning.* We debated her gayness vis a vis being let off with a warning but I think she was just being nice to us because we were tourists looking for our motel.

325116_271687246183663_100000271697699_1048803_50370200_o.jpg

We checked into our motel, the Crosswinds Motel. It was cute, very low amenities (no pool, no king size beds) but nice touches like a Keurig machine in the room instead of crappy hotel coffee maker, an ipod dock alarm clock, earth-friendly toiletries and full basic cable.

Dinner for Cougar’s birthday was diligently researched via Facebook poll and we chose Nage. Super unpretentious but classy bistro with amazing food. They were really accommodating about us sharing dishes and we enjoyed the truffle mac and cheese, filet mignon (prepared perfectly), and a butternut squash risotto that was too sweet for my taste. All told it was a decadent meal and a great value for the money. No sales tax at restaurants!

339842_271688522850202_100000271697699_1048829_694088183_o.jpg

We spent our evening walking the boardwalk, though it appears in this sleepy beach town the sidewalks roll-up around ten. We managed to sneak into the classic arcade just before it closed. I got in a game of two of my favorites–Ms. Pacman and Big Buck Hunter.

325116_271687256183662_100000271697699_1048806_2092979129_o.jpg

Mostly though we stood on the beach looking at the full moon on the water and the sandpipers running after the nibbles left at low tide. I am so into the ocean as a site of reflection and spirituality.

The next day we decided to do some shopping so we walked around the downtown area. There were a lot of cute beach stores, a great skate and surf shop, and it was such an unexpectedly beautiful day we ended up going out on the beach and laying out. One of those moments where the surf was so enticing Cougar lept into the water in her clothes (forgetting sunscreen, though I am hyper-vigilant about my use of SPF 3,000) and I lay under a piece of clothing listening to the surf and meditating.

IMG_0592.JPG

Cougar is very into candy stores and although I don’t love candy I do love salt water taffy so I decided to do a taste test. I would buy a few pieces of salt water taffies (I prefer honey, chocolate, molasses, peanut butter, or cinnamon flavors) in each candy location we visited to try out on the ride home. Candy Kitchen was open late the night before but I didn’t love their taffy. Dolle’s was really good and by far the freshest and the coolest boardwalk aesthetic.

IMG_0602.JPG

Snyder’s had a great selection (four kinds of salt water taffy) though none was made on site. But the Taffy Town taffy Snyder’s sells was seriously the best taffy I have ever had. The cinnamon bun flavor tasted like cinnabon frosting, buttery and delicious. Plus Snyder’s was a super gay store with lots of Wizard of Oz kitsch.

IMG_0605.JPG

Cougar was craving cupcakes and we went out of our way to find the cupcake store. Meanwhile I was commenting that I wanted a snack but I didn’t want it to be a crazy sugar fest. Right next door to the cupcake bakery was this place called Annie’s Bannanies and it really changed my life. A bannanie is this frozen banana put through a processor that spits it out like soft serve ice cream. All the toppings are made with agave syrup. It was totally delicious. I wish they had a bannanie stand in Brooklyn.

IMG_0606.JPG

We made a stop at Out Wear to support the gay businesses and both of us ended up buying gay souvenirs (Cougar got some bear colored suspenders and I got a gay rainbow decal in the shape of the continental united states). I was actually surprised at how few gay Americans I saw in Rehoboth. We saw a few couples and groups but mostly it was hetero-appearing families. But the gay presence was enough that I didn’t feel like we stood out at all being in our Femme/Fag duo, and a lot of shop keepers smiled at us in recognition.

IMG_0611.JPG
Out Wear is next door to a store called Dolphin Dreaming. SO GAY.

Before we left town we hit a couple of outlets. Primary on my list was the QVC outlet. I love QVC, though I do not have cable. For a long time when I did I would DVR the Quacker Factory shows because I really love bedazzled and blinged out sportswear and Jeanne Bice, the designer and creator, was absolutely entertaining to watch. Quacker Factory is a thing–if you see someone wearing Quacker designs you say “quack quack” to them.

tumblr_lbdrf2PnHa1qcy5gm.jpg

I’ll never make the mistake again of not checking the hours before a visit to a store–they closed at 6 on Mondays! We made it there at 5:58, shocked to see them closing. I did manage to sweet talk my way in and got my mitts on a Quacker Factory faux layer twin-set bedazzled on both front and back (Jeanne never scrimped on bedazzling) for Christmas. I felt like the Goddess and the spirit of the recently departed Jeanne Bice herself were looking over me in that moment, leading me to find the perfect item for 50% off in under 2 minutes. I may wear this piece every Monday in December.

Before leaving town we decided to hit the beach one last time to watch the sunset at Cape Henlopen State Park. Usually an $8 per out of state car entrance fee but free at sunset time. It was gorgeous and I had a great time looking at the sand for shells and stones.

IMG_0628.JPG

IMG_0614.JPG

IMG_0636.JPG
I love nearly deserted beaches!

As we were passing through the Northern part of Delaware on Route 13 we spotted a Ross Dress For Less that was open until 10PM! We stopped and I bought some Delta Burke undies at deep discount prices–one of our favorite Designing Women makes some great plus size lingerie.

No sales tax in Delaware makes it a really great shopping destination, the soft sands on the beaches make it a really fun place to hang out, the gays make it a friendly and welcoming place for the gender blenders. I’ll definitely put it on my list of places I’d like to rent a house for a week.

IMG_0597.JPG
Cougar getting beaned by a wave.

P.S. Cougar is going to be featured in Curve magazine in October with her Breast Cancer book project, CHAMPION: My Photo Journey With Breast Cancer. I’m so proud! I think my lesbianism is rubbing off on her, since she’s in a lesbian magazine now.

*Thus marks my second cop interaction around touching my “pink cellphone” in the car and herein lies a problem with my flamboyant accessories. Also I need a blue tooth device of some kind.

Powered by WordPress