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Archive for the ‘emotions’ Category

Almost one and a half year’s pause, I’m letting you know where my head is at.

I have discovered  that I can reduce my overeating by addressing the voice yelling at me inside my head. For example, after a social event, I have a practice of yelling at myself all the way home. All of the reasons are specious, like “I shouldn’t have used that word” or “I should have talked more.” But that yelling makes me feel bad, and I would crave food to feel good again.

Now I’m actively practicing the habit of saying, “I want to treat myself great all the time, so I’m not going to yell at myself right now. And I’m not going to eat in such a way that I feel bad, either.”

When I am successful with this, I find that I don’t have to eat when I get home.

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Brownies were my binge food for toothache (yes, I get the irony).

Chips and crunchy snacks were the binges for work stress. When the salt had overpowered my mouth so much that it hurt, I would add dip or sweets to make me feel better.

Chocolate was my binge food for sadness.

All of those foods never made me feel better, they only left me feeling worse.

Look at it this way: The toothache or work stress comes. It’s painful, unpleasant, and I feel bad. So I go through my day, or through the dentist visit, and go home. Miserable, sad and in pain.

Then the hunger strikes. A raw, limitless hunger that is driven by anything BUT a physical need for food. Without knowing it, I would grab for the perfect binge food to “solve” the pain.

The binge food works like a drug. I got a small high, then needed more. Eventually my taste buds would be overwhelmed, which induced me to stuff it in faster. That was followed by an overwhelmingly full stomach, which did not always make me stop stuffing, but did make me feel worse.

The binge would end by me collapsing into the actual emotion that I should have expressed earlier, but with all the pain and discomfort added on top. Plus the weight gain.

How was that working for me? Pretty lousy, actually. I always ended up feeling worse.

Stage 1: the actual stress or pain. Painful and unpleasant

Stage 2: rather than deal with that emotion, I start eating. Feels good for about 15 minutes.

Stage 3: My taste buds get numb, and if it’s salty food, my tongue starts to hurt and my blood pressure spikes. That’s a whole new level of feeling bad.

Stage 4: The stuffing continues. My stomach starts to hurt, I’m getting a headache.

Stage 5: I collapse into a food “coma.” My senses are dulled, and I can’t think about anything. The TV prattles on, often I cry, then I doze off.

Stage 6: the hangover starts. My belly is starting to empty, my digestive tract is full, I get cramps as the crap works its way through my body. My vitals start to return to normal.

Stage 7: post-hangover, I feel exhausted, and mad at myself. Funny thing is, the problem is not even addressed.

Binges make me feel worse than not binging. I’m glad they’re gone.

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The guided journey certainly seems to be helping me cope with everyday stresses. Formerly I would eat in response to stress, but often I now can recognize that stress comes from competing wishes, and I need to make my decision about those wishes, not eat to suppress and postpone the inevitable.

For my birthday, everything went right.

First, I gave myself a morning alone at the museum and library (took the day off work, too!). DH took the afternoon off, and we had a lovely gourmet lunch, followed by a movie. When my daughter got back into town that evening, we all met for dinner. A nice, polite, conversational dinner – rare for our teenager.

As to eating, I basically spread one giant birthday meal across the whole day.

For breakfast, I had cake. At lunch, I ate a steak and lobster bisque.  For dinner, it was a great salad. No panicking about food, not even thinking about it very much. Didn’t even want a snack during the long film.

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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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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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Day after day, I see me making more changes without stress. It’s easier to not eat (and at the same time not THINK about not eating). It’s easier to empty packages of food from my pantry and not feel that I have to restock, which means I’m really getting control over my earlier feelings of deprivation.

What are my keys to easy change?

  1. Breathe. Whenever I take a deep breath, really filling my lungs, and breathe out slowly, I feel more in control of myself.
  2. Enjoying the moment without criticizing myself for not being more “perfect.”
  3. Remembering that tomorrow’s issues are in the future. As long as I’ve reasonably provided for my future, that’s all I need to do. Unnecessary worrying is pain.
  4. Looking at the pain immediate gratification gives. One bite more than full enough is discomfort. An extra half hour surfing the web is time away from my other activities.
  5. Know my goals. A clean, well-organized house, and a vegetable-rich, tasty food life, and lots of self-love.

I like this change.

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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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