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Archive for January, 2009

Last night’s guided journey was about the conflict I lived out last evening. While reading and watching TV, I knew I wanted to snack. First I compensated at dinner by keeping it lighter. Later for my snacks, I ate some leftover guacamole and chips, and later enjoyed my dessert, a small portion of ice cream.

My conflict was that I didn’t crave healthy foods, and I ate more chips than I wanted to. The benefit I get from eating the junk food was the taste, the “party in my mouth.” After completing the journey, I now choose to believe that I feel better, happier, more comforted and whole when I eat healthy food. It’s a “party in my body” rather than a “party in my mouth.”

Today, I was able to choose healthy foods at breakfast. Now I visualize my body wrapped in a soft, protective, comforting cocoon whenever I eat healthy foods and eat them in moderation.

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Today’s guided journey brought me strong feelings, even though I didn’t go very deeply into the relaxation state. First, as I relaxed, I experienced a strong emotion. This isn’t explicitly part of the guided journey, but I just experience it as I go down into a deep state of relaxation.

Today’s emotion was feelings of sadness about my upcoming birthday. Next Tuesday is my birthday, Feb. 3, and I’ll be 50 years old. No one has said anything to me about it, or asked me what I want to do. That’s really disappointed me, and I’m busy making plans to do something nice for myself. Last night though, my mother-in-law called, but didn’t want to talk to me, just DH, so I figure at least she has thought of it. No, that doesn’t mean there’s a surprise party brewing – that’s not at all like us.

It’s also not logical that DH hasn’t thought of it, but I’m annoyed that he hasn’t said anything, since HIS 50th was last year, and I went to a lot of trouble to think of a nice present (a ride in a glider) and take him out for a nice dinner. His parents even traveled 3 hours to be there. And yes, I explicitly asked him before his birthday what he wanted to do. His parents did the same.

Anyway, I often experience irrational thoughts right before my birthday. Must be something to do with feelings of not being loved because I was an unwanted baby.

My mother left my father while pregnant with me. He had been violent, so she certainly must have struggled emotionally throughout the pregnancy. Then, going home to a closet-sized room at her parents, with a 2 y.o. and me on the way, must have been just as hard.

Back to the guided journey. I experienced the emotions described above as I drifted down into the state of relaxation. Even cried a couple of tears, but that’s not unusual for the journey.

Once in the relaxed state, my right hand experienced a feeling of confidence around other people. Being thin and looking like everyone else, increases general acceptance. Therefore it’s natural I would feel more confident when I am thin. The symbol in my hand is a heart. Not a pretty Valentine’s heart, but an anatomically correct, soft, pulsating heart. Eww!

My left hand, the side that benefits from staying fat, found that the benefit is reassurance of being loved. Food is love, and a full stomach is proof of love.  The symbol in my hand was a stomach. A living friggin’ stomach! Double Ewww!

The integration part of the journey brought the heart and the stomach together, which suddenly migrated into a complete nervous system plus stomach. Ick. Ick. Ick.

The feeling I get from the integration is wholeness.  Kind of a cool thought. Feeling whole is better than artificial feelings of reassurance from a full stomach, or from shallow confidence around other people.

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Every time I do this conflict resolution journey, it’s different. The conflicts I’m resolving are pretty much all around eating habits. In the journey itself, Renee talks about resolving the conflicting desires to stay fat versus releasing excess weight.

In this morning’s journey I learned that one way I benefit from staying fat is that the eating gives me a chance for rest and a feeling of relief. Funny thing is, I also get the exact same benefit from releasing the weight. After considering this during the journey, I realized that thinking I’m getting relief by staying fat part is a false belief. It actually causes more distress after the first few moments of eating.

At the end of the journey, the two symbols I’d created (a hard-boiled egg for the releasing fat and a hockey puck for the staying fat – what the heck do these things mean?) merged into the yin-yang symbol. Sort of a nice resolution to the conflict.

My immediate reaction? I just ate a larger breakfast than normal. It’s not too bad, just an extra piece of toast, but I compensated yesterday already a little bit at dinner.

Does the guided journey work? Dunno. Looks like it’s a long-term impact rather than an instantaneous miracle cure.

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lindt-mini-strawberriesThere’s a lot of chocolate in my house. Literally kilos of chocolate. That’s because I wrote a chocolate blog as part of my personal therapy. Aligned with the compulsive eating, I had strong cravings for chocolate. When I discovered Overcoming Overeating, and Geneen Roth, and Inside Out Weight Loss, I knew I had to make peace with chocolate. My decision was to bring it into my house and get used to it, like is described in Overcoming Overeating.

The blog was great. I reviewed chocolate, thought about chocolate, planned which chocolate to buy, gave myself chocolate out the wazoo. The only rule I had was, if I buy it, I have to review it. And review it I did.

Over 25,000 hits later, I was done. Last August, I found I simply couldn’t write any more chocolate posts. My chocolate purchases went way down, to essentially zero. I told myself that I didn’t have to post any more if I didn’t want to, and I knew already that I didn’t have to eat any chocolate I didn’t want to eat.

After 4 months of no posts, I wrote a new post on a delicious chocolate I just bought today. It reads as if I can’t resist this chocolate, but I have. I ate a nice portion, then put the rest away for another day. Chocolate is as normal as an apple for me now. I love apples. I love chocolate. But I eat both at normal levels.

How did I change from chocolate-obsessed to a intuitive-eating chocolate-and-apple-lover? One bite and one thought at a time.

Each time I eat chocolate, I remind myself that I love myself and I can have all the chocolate I want any time.  Slowly I discovered that chocolate wasn’t my real need, but rather self-care and positive self-talk is. That’s what I practice now, and it tastes better than chocolate.

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After using the guided journey for a couple of days, here’s a brief description of my experiences.

The 30 minute journey has 3 parts:

  • Relaxation and going into the “self-hypnosis” or quiet state
  • Identification and integration of the two opposing wishes (to lose weight and to keep the benefits of the weight)
  • Reinforcement of the learnings from the integration

What’s happened to me so far is that I’ve experienced strong emotions and memories while relaxing, and that each identification and integration experience has been different.

Example: today I visualized a scroll in my right hand, holding the rational reasons to lose weight, and a pile of fat in my left hand, representing the layer of safety and protection that fat provides. Upon integrating the two, I visualized muscle.

From that, I conclude that building muscle will provide me with the same protection and safety that I formerly got from my layers of fat.  That’s a powerful reason to exercise.

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Renee Stephens has a highly recommended podcast about creating your intuitive eating self. It’s called Inside Out Weight Loss, and is subscribable through iTunes.

Being a consultant, she of course offers product for sale. Since I’d found the guided journeys that she’s used in the podcasts to be helpful, I decided to buy a commercial one, namely Sabotage Self-sabotage. She recommends to start with this one. The cost is $29.95. Link is here.

I bought and downloaded it yesterday, as my reward for completing the 4 Day Win last week. I’ve taken the journey twice as of this moment.

Results so far:

  • I am able to relax enough to follow the actions
  • It raises some emotions, so it seems to be having an impact
  • The images I create during the journey are different in each journey
  • The relaxation follows me after the journey is over
  • The notion of flowing the positive elements through my body is interesting, and may be starting to have a positive impact

My plan is to take the journey as often as possible until the end of February, and see what happens. I’ll keep you posted.

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My Goal:
Eat delightful foods that bring me to my weight goal and make me feel great!

My actions:

  • 5-10 minutes of positive, silent meditation each day
  • Turn off the computer early at least once each day
  • Choose an extra vegetable each day to find out if it delights me
  • Choose to pass on a non-delighting food each day
  • Eat chocolate every day

Results for Day 4:

  • Did a great meditation to some soft music, with my husband cooperating by being quiet
  • Turned off the computer in the morning in order to do chores and put away groceries
  • Chose beans in my corn with my dinner
  • Passed on extra servings of brownie several times today
  • Ate brownie for breakfast

My reward for completing all 4 days is to buy the “Sabotage Self-Sabotage” guided journey from Inside Out Weight Loss. I’ll let you know how it is.

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