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Archive for the ‘affirmations’ Category

It’s not affirmations. It’s not guided journeys. It’s not cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s not binging, or nude meditation, or sewing, or EFT, or NLP, or scream therapy.

It may be all of those things and none of those things, but the bottom line is I’m changing the way I think, and it’s changing my life.

Beating myself up for EVERY.SINGLE.DECISION. was killing me. I was using food just to ease the pain of self-criticism. This is important to know, because when I am not self-critical, I’m not binging.

Then I faced a conflict. Part of me wants to be thin, and part of me wants to stay with binge eating and being fat, which are the devils I know. When I’m fat, I understand my world. There are no questions about “will they reject me,” of course they will, because I’m fat. Painful, yes, but in a convoluted way, that’s comforting.

Part of me wants to be thin and free of compulsive eating, but there’s a lot of unknown space out there. What do I do with my life? How will I accept that some people won’t like me even if I am thin?  How do I handle things when the answer is not always, “It’s my own fault.”

My choice is: comfort plus the known pain of being fat, or more physical comfort of being thin, but with many unknowns and risks, which might be even more painful than being fat.

Once I realized I had that conflict, I reduced it to this choice:

Do I want to continue with the self-criticism that drives me to food, or do I prefer the uncertainty that billions of people successfully cope with every day?

I prefer the second one, and am giving up the pain of self-criticism.

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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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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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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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“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.”

It’s clear to me that I’m ready to make a new kind of change, and this change consists of many bab steps. Multiple times a day, I  don’t make a tiny decision until I’ve asked, “Can I do this better for the way I want to live?”

Some examples:

  • making lunch today, I chose to cut back on the protein in order to asve some calories. Ditto for cooking dinner and reducing the fat
  • listening to podcasts, I deleted several, reminding myself that I’d rather be working with my daughter on her project or assembling my sewing room

My wish food-wise is to build a habit of eating just enough so I am nicely hungry at the next meal time. Taking the Inside-Out Weight Loss suggestion into account, I take a deep breath and “set my intent” to burn energy from my body’s stored resources (fat) first, then take in more.

Deep brething is fantastic. It calms me, gives me time to listen to my emotions, and gives me the chance to choose the best for myself.

Because I’m worth the best.

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I keep seeing a gap between my rational thoughts about normal eating and the ability to actually do it consistently. After reviewing my history, I see that I believe academically that normal eating is best, and will help me get to a normal size, but I still experience those moments (many of them) in which I eat unconsciously.

This must be easier than I am making it. There are plenty of times in which I don’t eat, don’t want to overeat, and don’t. But there are also plenty of times I eat too much, or eat when I’m not hungry. I believe that normal eating is right for me, and that I can do it. I also believe that eating for comfort hurts more than it helps, leaving me feeling bad and physically uncomfortable.

What’s missing? Those beliefs now exist for me, but they do not permeate my every moment.  I do not have them ingrained as habits.

What kinds of beliefs are ingrained as habits? I believe if I save money, I’ll have a better retirement. I believe insurance is important. I believe the oncoming car on the highway is not going to suddenly cross the painted white line and crash into me. I believe brushing my teeth every day will keep them healthy. These things I believe, and are so ingrained that I choose good behaviors based on these beliefs. I don’t panic every time a car somes toward me in the other lane, and I don’t skip brushing my teeth too often.

These beliefs exist and permeate my thoughts because I practiced them until they stuck.

This is good. I know I have the positive beliefs around normal eating, and I know that practicing them will make them stick.

So just for today, I will remind myself of the following statements:

  • Eating the right amounts makes me feel great
  • I get the most comfort from peaceful time alone rather than eating
  • I control my own attitude and choose the way I respond to life’s ups and downs

This practice is the sum of the ideas of affirmations, beliefs and cognitive therapy. Practice makes perfect, or at the very least, makes “good enough.”

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Dr. Annette Colby is a counselor in Texas. She specializes in helping people transform difficult emotions. She just started a new blog that is inspiring to me. I love this quote: ” lead with my true nature instead of my fears”
That’s something I intend to do as much as possible.

Here’s a list of questions from her new blog. I’m going to just go through them here, answering them as quickly as I can, and see what comes out.

Question 1. What is something (a person, idea, place, or activity) you are curious about?

I’m enormously curious about many things, but I can stare at old pictures for hours. Lately I’ve been reading about Germany in the 1950s, specializing in women’s everyday lives.

Question 2. What is your favorite book? What ideas are in this book that spark your life energy?

I go often back to Pride and Prejudice or Persuasion by Jane Austen. The combination of ironic humor and behavior fascinates me. I would love to be as witty as Dorothy Parker or Jane’s smartest character, Elizabeth Bennet.

Question 3. What were your favorite classes and subjects in school? Which caught your attention, or inspired you to learn?

I loved writing, social history and mathematics. I became an engineer who could write, and I now apply those learnings to improving processes in companies.

Question 4. Do you have something that you deeply care about?

I care about oppressed people around me, and have been involved in diversity activities for many years. Part of this was always a wish that I could fight as hard for myself as I did for the group.

Question 5. When does time seem to fly by? What are you typically doing?

Time flies when I am analyzing data, watching an absorbing movie, laughing in a funny situation.

Question 6. What excites and energizes you?

A bit of missing information, especially involving people. I can go off for hours trying to figure it out.

Question 7. What are the values you hold dear that guide your life?

Live with integrity, love with passion.

Question 8. What is the one problem, challenge, or issue your were born to address?

My strength lies in my analytic capability coupled with my passion for people. I constantly find new issues that need both.

Question 9. What are the types of things you currently enjoy to help people?

I love to write in a way that moves and helps people.

Question 10. Name one thing you do that hours go by in what feels like minutes?

Looking at old photographs of people, preferably candids.

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