Just What am I Afraid of?

I did a short meditation last night. If I’m going to “invite my fears to tea” (as Kris Carr says), then I need to know what those fears are. So I sat for a little while to meditate on that question.

I had a sense of: what if I make changes away from unhealthy foods to healthy foods … and then there is nothing to eat? Literally nothing.

It sounds irrational. (But then, aren’t all fears irrational on some level??) I know that I am not going to go hungry. I am fortunate enough to never have to face that situation. It wasn’t that there wouldn’t be food in the house or on the table – more a fear that I would be left without any choices. What on earth was I going to eat??

Well, as I was putting lotion on my legs this evening to get ready for bed, I found my thoughts wandering back to this topic. And I had another revelation. My fear of having nothing left to eat might just be more specifically a fear of having no foods left with which to soothe myself.

I definitely turn to food for comfort when I am stressed, tired, overwhelmed, sad, frustrated. Basically, when I’m feeling any negative emotion. And what kind of food do I turn to for that comfort? The junky stuff.

As I write this down in black-and-white, it seems kind of obvious. These aren’t exactly new ideas – for myself, or for many of us who struggle with food and weight. So many people soothe themselves with food. However, putting it down in black-and-white makes it more real to me. I suppose in a way, it is a means of “inviting my fears to tea.”

My next question is this: if I am to make changes to healthier foods, and if I am no longer going to soothe myself with food (junky or otherwise), well then, exactly how am I going to soothe myself when I am experiencing negative emotion??

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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!

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.

Thoughts Matter

I have been on a roller coaster of emotions this past month. Or maybe I feel more like one of the tennis balls being batted back and forth at Wimbledon right now. One day, I’m doing so great! The next, I’ve fallen back into a hole. Up – down – up – down – back and forth. It’s like I’m in a vicious cycle, and I don’t know how to get out.

I’ve been turning to some of my fabulous mentors and supporters for help. Conversations with my mom are always uplifting – even if they are also tear-filled. Then I saw my chiropractor last week. She worked her energy magic, and I left feeling like I’d purged some more old stuff so that I could keep moving forward in a positive direction.

And then I fell back down in the hole. Ugh. Here I am again.

Today, I had a great session with my acupuncturist. She lives on the west coast, thousands of miles from me, so we just do a Skype session these days. No, I don’t put needles in myself!! We just talk, and she works her energy magic. Another bout of tears as I took in what she was saying.

The reason last year (leading up to my 40th birthday) was so successful is that I was exploring a new me. I was allowing this part of myself that had been hiding for so many years to finally take a peek out into the world. I was having fun with this part of me as I was getting to know her. But then the fears crept in. And slowly but surely, this new me began to retreat. I wasn’t making it safe for her anymore. I wanted to, but it was as if I didn’t know how.

It’s so simple, though… and yet so hard. In order to keep her here, I need to keep her happy. And in order to keep her happy, I need to listen to her.

All day long, I need to pay attention to my thoughts. Pay attention to the things I’m doing and the choices I’m making. Are they serving me? Do I want to do these things? Do they make me happy? Am I having fun?

Our thoughts are one of the few things we have control over. I tell that to my kids all the time, and they are only 5 and 2. But I tell them they get to choose how they feel. If they don’t like something, they can choose: do they get mad? Or do they find something else that makes them happy? Or better yet, do they find a way to make that first something fun, so they can be happy no matter what?

I’m so caught up in my overwhelmingly long to-do list and the guilt I feel when choosing to do the things I want to do instead of crossing off all those things I feel I should be doing. And that is what is keeping me in my vicious cycle.

Pay attention to your thoughts. They matter. And they matter most.

Bump, Bump

On January 4, 2014 I had had enough. Seriously. I hit the wall, and I was DONE. Enough of the feeling of being overweight and all the negativity that came with it. Over the course of the year, I dropped 4 pant sizes. Woo hoo! I used my positivity as my main source of strength. Everything else stemmed from that. Eating better and exercising became much easier, because I was finally being kind to myself.

Just before the holidays, however, things began slowly drifting away from me. I became fearful. What if it doesn’t stick? What if I go back to the “old” me? I knew the holidays presented lots of yummy eating opportunities, and I didn’t want to miss out on them. I did pretty well, too. I enjoyed the foods of the season, mostly in moderation. And I was confident that after the holidays, I would get back on track.

Only that hasn’t happened. Mostly I get inspired one day, then find I’ve come down with yet another cold. I feel like we’ve hardly had more than one week at a time with a healthy family. Ugh. It’s wretched. Every time I get sick  –  or over-tired from taking care of the kids  –  I start eating. Not healthy foods either, of course. Why is it that we want to eat junk when we’re sick?? I know I’m not the only one.

Okay. So I get over a cold and think, “Great. Now I can get back on track again.” I start tracking my food again. I start exercising again. … And then I get sick again.

I don’t know how much weight I’ve put back on, but I know my pants are snug. The clothes I was fitting into last fall are snug this spring.

sigh

I’m now getting over a 3-week cold. Here we go again. I’ve been trying to track my food. Not doing so well with that. I’ve been exercising. (Although I have found out that I actually really like exercising! But I think that’s another post.)

Here’s the thing, though. I’m getting that feeling again. ENOUGH. I’M DONE. I do not like that image staring back at me in the mirror. I don’t like the way I feel in my clothes. I don’t like the way I feel, period. So what am I going to do about it? Time to get back to the things that worked last year. But also find some new sources of inspiration.

  • Track food – especially works when I plan the night before for the next day
  • Exercise (as I said, I can definitely do that!)

But those are the physical things. I really believe that the emotional work is what’s most important.

  • Be kind to myself
  • Say only positive things about my body and myself
  • Appreciate my body and all that it does for me
  • Go easy on myself if I have a less-than-perfect day

I also believe it’s important to take care of myself. Have time for myself and with my husband and my friends. Get a massage, go to the chiropractor, schedule health sessions with my acupuncturist. Talk to people who are uplifting. Laughter feels so good!

Ah yes – be light about all this!! It should feel good! It should be fun!

So this post is in essence my very own pep-talk. Let’s go! It’s spring! It’s time to feel fabulous again!!

One Year Ago

It was one year ago today when I decided I’d had enough. And what a year it’s been! There have been plenty of ups and downs. As the year was coming to an end, I even faced a great deal of fear: What if it doesn’t last? What if I revert to old patterns? What if I gain back the weight?

I believe I am finally over that hump. I know there will be further obstacles for me to overcome, but at least there, I think I can finally move forward with confidence again.

I know now how important it is to be kind to myself. Every time I say … think … feel a negative thought about myself  –  about my body  –  I take a deep breath, let it out, and replace it with a positive thought of appreciation. At least, I try to. It isn’t always easy. But what a difference it makes.

I also know that I have done so much of the emotional work. It wasn’t just physical weight I was carrying around with me all these years. It was the emotional weight that had to go before I could begin to lose the physical weight. I believe that has been the real key to my success.

Finally, I have my supports in place. My chiropractor, my acupuncturist, my Pilates instructor, my massage therapist. These people do much more than just physical work with me. They are my confidantes. I can call on them for help when I need support, encouragement, or deeper help with my emotional issues. I have family and friends I can turn to as well. And most importantly: I’m no longer afraid to reach out for help when I need it. I know that I am not alone. I know that these people are not here to judge me or put me down. They love me. They support me. And they want to see me happy, just as I want to see them happy.

Most of all, I am grateful. I have such a rich life, I am sometimes reduced to tears of overwhelming gratitude just to think of it all. And I am grateful for this extraordinary body that I have. I love the way it feels now. (I was recently on an airplane in the middle seat, and I actually did not feel self-conscious about being too big and accidentally spilling over into the seat next to me!) I love the confidence I have gained in this new body. I could go on and on! But it is late. And I also know that I need my sleep 🙂