Fear. Ego.

Something is happening.

It’s hard to put into words. So much of this journey is truly about feeling.

Well, lately I’ve been feeling some rather unpleasant things in my physical body. The emotional interpretations lead to two things: fear and ego.

The first one, I totally get. Fear is so huge for me still. Even though I often wonder, why?? My life is so amazing. I have manifested such extraordinary things and people and experiences. I sometimes wonder if I have any big dreams left to dream, since so many have already come true! So what the heck am I so afraid of?

Well, I know that when I slimmed down two years ago, I was afraid of putting the weight back on. Afraid of falling back into old habits. So guess what? I put the weight back on and fell back into old habits. Now I’m trying to move forward in a way that releases me from that old pattern. But in order to that, I’m going to have to release that huge fear.

I wonder if there is something else, too??

So what about ego? On the one hand, I thing this has a lot to do with control. And that left-brain intellect trying to keep hold of the reigns. My ego is thus getting in the way of allowing my divine guidance to come through.

Oddly enough, at the same time, I believe I also need to start trusting myself more. That feels a little like taking control. But didn’t I just say that I need to let go of control? Well, trusting myself is really trusting my divine guidance – my intuition. Trusting myself is not about trying to fix things and holding tight to old habits. There is a very different feeling when I think of trusting myself – a feeling of letting go.

I still need all my gurus – the ones I talk to directly, like my acupuncturist, my chiropractor, my massage therapist, and my mom 🙂  And the ones I gain wisdom from through reading, like Louise Hay, Abraham-Hicks, Doreen Virtue, Kris Carr, and Florence Scovel Shinn. But I am listening to my own voice and following my own intuition … or at least I’m trying to.

As this shift has been happening, I’m noticing something about food. I feel like eating everything … and yet, nothing sounds appealing. Food isn’t even tasting right. I feel over-full, even if I haven’t eaten a lot. I’m craving veggies and water. But even there, I’m not sure what I actually want to eat. I’m trying to just be with these feelings. No judgement. No criticism. Just see what happens next.

So to help me stay focused on releasing fears and ego – and to ask for some divine guidance, I just pulled a bunch of cards from those gurus. Here’s what I got:

Everything is working out for my highest good. – Louise Hay, Life Loves You cards

Divine wisdom guides me. – Louise Hay, Power Thought cards

Release fears while manifesting, and instead focus on feeling the joy as if your desire were already a reality. – Louise Hay, Love Yourself to Great Health

Release & Surrender – Doreen Virtue, Daily Guidance from your Angels. Oracle Cards

Invite your fears to tea. – Kris Carr, Crazy Sexy Love Notes cards

There is nothing for me to guard against. – Abraham-Hicks, Well-Being Cards

Physical Well-being is only one good thought away. – Abraham-Hicks, Well-Being Cards

Basically, I got a whole bunch of cards to support and inspire me – everything I needed to hear!

No More Scales

On April 4th, I made the colossal mistake of getting on a scale.

I thought I was doing a wise thing, since I had been logging my food again. I learned before that a smaller body needs less energy to fuel it. So if I was losing weight – as I believe I was – I should probably check in and enter the new lower weight, so I could recalculate my daily calorie goal.

The only thing was, when I entered my starting weight back in February, I used a number from last October. It was the last time I’d been on a scale, when I was at the doctor’s office for my annual physical. Well, between October and February, there were the holidays. Guess what? I must have put on some weight, because even though I felt as though I’d lost weight between February and April, the number on the scale was had gone up quite a bit.

UGH!!!!!

I wish I could say it didn’t matter. In my mind, I know that there is a much bigger picture, and that the number on that scale is only one small part of that picture. But emotionally, I feel something so completely different.

Seeing that number on the scale sent me into a tailspin. It sure as heck did not encourage me. I stopped logging. I started eating whatever. I stopped caring.

And now, two weeks later, I still can’t seem to get back on track. Heck, I don’t even know exactly what track I want to get on! I try to start logging again, but it isn’t working.

And so I have decided never to get on a scale again. I mean it. Never. Ever. The next time I go to the doctor and they ask me to get on the scale, I intend to politely decline. And if they insist, I will turn around and get on backward, so that I don’t see the number. It seems like the most compassionate thing I could do for myself.

Every time I get on a scale, it messes with me. So why would I want to keep putting myself through that? No, thank you.

Taking Charge

After I got back from Florida, I was feeling really lost. When I mentioned to someone that I had been logging my food, she said I sounded so BORED. Huh. I hadn’t expected that. So I’ve been asking for some guidance. What to do? How to move forward??

One thing that has been crossing my path is the idea of learning more about what’s in my food. Starting to cut out processed foods. Looking at more whole, natural foods.

When I saw my chiropractor a few days later, I updated her on all this, and she said she thought I might be ready for a detox. I was so gung-ho about the idea, I decided to just go for it. (I really trust my chiropractor and her extraordinary intuitions.) As she worked on me during that sessions, one of the things she spoke of was taking charge.

So I started the detox this morning. It’s 2 shakes and a healthy meal from a list of foods.

OH, NO. She had warned me it might not taste good, but I was not prepared. It wasn’t so much the taste, but the texture. I was literally gagging on it. I somehow managed to get the whole thing down, but it was soooo unpleasant. And then I felt a little nauseated afterward. I thought if I followed a recipe for the shake mixed with fruit and almond milk instead of plain water it might help. NOPE. Same reaction.

As I sat there staring at the dreaded shake, I normally would have a huge battle within myself about failure and self-criticism. That popped up a bit. But what it really came down to: I can’t see how gagging over a drink is good for me. Even if the benefits of that shake should be great, it’s not going to do me much good if it triggers my gag reflex with every single swallow.

So instead of warring with myself and feeling like a failure, I decided to take charge, just like my chiro had said. This is MY life, MY journey. And I’m in the driver seat. Maybe this detox would have been good for me? I’ll never know, because I’m just not doing it. I am not going to put myself through that kind of torture. Right now, this simply is not the direction I want to take.

I feel empowered. I feel strong and confident. I do not feel like a failure.

So what next? Well, we’ll see. I still want to make healthy changes. Just using a different method….

Challenges

For the past two weeks, I’ve been in a really good place. I started logging my food again, and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. However, I definitely have to remind my self to keep up the positive self-talk.

I haven’t been posting my Little Love Notes to myself, but I have thought of a few more that just need to get from my head to my computer. And even the few that I have up so far have been really helpful. I am truly seeing myself differently again.

And then…. We go on vacation. Warmer weather equals different clothing. That is, bathing suits, shorter pants, no layering with structured cardigans and jackets. Deep breath. It gets really rough. I try not to look at what is and instead focus on my vision of who I truly am and who I want to be. But when the image in the mirror is staring back at you, it gets difficult.

I’m not sure just what to do about it. I want to enjoy my vacation, which also means enjoying food. Well, really, I always want to enjoy food. That doesn’t mean eating only junk. Healthy food can taste great, too. So I’m trying to pay attention to what I’m eating. I’ll try to keep logging – if only so that I don’t get out of the habit. And here I am, writing about it to try to help smooth out this process.

Remember: I am beautiful (my 3-year-old tells me that all the time!). I am lovable. I am worthy.

And then remember the little love notes. Focus on the things you already really love about yourself. I truly believe that is the key.

What is the key?

For months now, I’ve been so frustrated with sliding back – and back up the scale. Why does this always seem to happen? When I started losing weight at the beginning of 2014, I was extraordinarily positive. There was absolutely a shift. I said, it’s going to be different this time. And I truly felt it. But then something changed. For one thing, I started letting fear creep in. I started doubting myself. So how do I really do this and make it stick???

Here’s what I think. The reason everything felt so different that time, is because I was truly seeing myself differently. I was absolutely appreciating my body – all of my body. Even my belly. But over time, as I logged calories and played the math game to hit my target (a slightly smaller portion here, a few more minutes of exercise there), I went back to my old ways. I forgot to focus on appreciating – on loving – ME. Just as I was. I got carried away by the wonderful sensation of feeling thin. I got addicted to the compliments. But then as people got used to me being more slender, the compliments stopped coming. And I started doubting. The old voice of the critic in my head started getting stronger.

I hadn’t really changed my feeling. I hadn’t changed the way I felt about myself. I allowed the mirror to tell me how to feel. But that mirror is no good.

The absolute, without-a-doubt, most important thing I can do is LOVE MYSELF.

If I lose sight of that, then I will never be able to achieve this goal of being a more slender me – and thereby also a healthier me.

It’s such a tricky thing, I think: I have to love me now, even though I want to change. How does one do that? Practice. Practice loving myself exactly as I am. Every little bit of me. And that’s why my Little Love Notes to myself are so important.

At this point, I’m trying the logging thing again. If only to make myself more aware. And if I’m willing to put the time into logging my food on My Fitness Pal, then I am more than capable of finding time each and every day to write a little love note to myself. It absolutely MUST be part of the equation.

Is a Picture Really Worth a Thousand Words?

We had family photos taken a couple of weeks ago and just got to see the proofs today.

I love seeing the images captured of my boys and the smiling faces of my family.

I’m less than thrilled to see the images of myself. Earlier this evening, I was so disheartened. I seem to look the same as I did two years ago before I started losing weight. According to the numbers, I’ve only gained back about half of what I lost. And I definitely am still a smaller size than I was. But I don’t see a difference. I also know that I may be smaller still, but my body shape looks very much the same to me. And that is a tricky point for me.

I almost cried in the car on the way home from dinner tonight. I just feel like I’m on this bumpy ride. I get clear. YES! And then I get derailed. UGH. And then I get clear again. OKAY, GO! Oops, off track again. GAAH! Back and forth I go, like a tennis match.

I feel like I am so close to being in alignment with the person I want to be. But it remains just out of my reach.

When I started this blog, I thought it was going to be about maintenance. And I wished I had started it sooner, so I could have shared the “secrets to my success”. Ha! Looks like I don’t have as many secrets as I thought. Either that, or I’m just not using them. Or maybe I’ve outgrown the old secrets and am in search of new ones.

Tonight while I was dancing, I felt like punching the air. Just busting out all of my frustrations. So I did 🙂 It felt good. LET GO. Just let go of the past. The power is in the present moment (my Louise Hay calendar said that the other day). And that means that in any given moment, I get to begin again. Start fresh. Let go of the past. It does not have to have a hold on me.

I’m looking for new ways to feel healthy. To feel happy.

The other night, my husband and I were out for dinner. Just the two of us 🙂 It was so nice to be out and away from the bustle of every-day life. And I was inspired to try some dishes that I don’t normally order. I chose a small salad, a soup, and an appetizer. Everything was absolutely delicious! I loved savoring every single bite. I loved the way I felt afterward – just right, satisfied. I didn’t care how many calories or grams of fat were in the foods I ate. I simply enjoyed them. And felt healthy doing it.

THAT is how I want to feel when I eat. But it is not an easy feat. Especially with young children at the table. It’s almost impossible to savor each bite. I’m not sure how to get around that. But I know I want to.

My other challenge to myself right now is to continue letting go of control. Not just when it comes to food, but in all aspects of my life. I recently started physical therapy for a back sprain I got over three years ago when I was pregnant with my second child. (Another topic I could go on and on about: why do we suffer through such pain instead of asking for help, as if to suffer like that is normal?!!) Because the injury is in the low back and pelvic region – areas that never get any rest – the muscles could not recover. And so it’s as if I’ve been clenching and holding tight with my back muscles while also using them to protect my abs that were weakened from pregnancy. It’s a telling injury: emotionally, I do the very same things. I hold tight, trying to control things and protect myself. But that just doesn’t work. It is time to feel – to know – that I am safe and protected and that I don’t need any “extra padding”.

Most of all, it’s time to get back to loving and appreciating myself. Just as I am. Right now. I’m not sure exactly how to go about doing that. But I know it is the place to start.

Reality Check

I recently changed doctors. Which means I had to have a physical. Which means that today, I had to get on a scale. I did not like the numbers looking back at me. About 6 pounds more than I thought it would be. I knew I had put back on a pound or two, but I had not expected to see it that high. (And yet as I write this, I have to say, 6 pounds does not seem like all that much.)

Still, it was something of a shock. And a big disappointment. When I started writing this blog, I thought I was in the maintenance phase of weight loss and transformation. Nope. Not even close. In total, I think I’ve gained back at least 10 pounds, after having lost 20. UGH. That does not feel good.

So when I saw my new doctor (whom I really like) and in her litany of questions, she came to the one: how’s your diet? “Well, some good, some not so good,” I answered. And then I started to cry. Not unlike me. I’ve cried in front of countless people – doctors, professors, family. Heck, I cry at Hallmark ads! Oftentimes I’m embarrassed and have even been disgusted with myself for letting such intense emotions show. But my doctor was very supportive. She said this was a “safe place”. And happily, I believed her. She is a doctor with whom I feel I can be open and honest.

Later on, I thought about that scenario some more. Wasn’t I just writing about self-approval and self-acceptance? I’m still not sure where I stand on those things with regards to food choices. But here is a place where I can really go easy on myself. So what if I cry in front of others? So what if I’m an emotional person? It’s a big part of me. I feel things deeply. And this journey of approval and acceptance of myself is life-long. It’s a really big deal. So of course things hit me hard. And I react. There is no shame in that.

One thing the doctor recommended is that I get a scale. I haven’t had one in about 10 years – since the last time I tried to lose weight. She said it would be a good idea to have one, so that I can check in and keep myself honest. Well, I considered it. NOPE. No way. Absolutely not. It is such a bad idea for me!! I get so obsessive about weighing myself. I can’t keep it to just once a week. I start getting on the scale daily – sometimes even two times a day. And I am SOOOOOO hard on myself when I see the numbers fluctuating – which of course they are bound to do! So maybe I’ll get on a scale every few months at my parents’ house. Not so much to see how I’m doing (my clothes and my body pretty much tell me that). But so that I can put accurate information into My Fitness Pal.