Sunday, September 19, 2010

Taking Control, by Surrendering!

I'd like to begin this post with a HUGE THANK YOU!!!! I am overwhelmed and appreciative of all the responses I received to my last post. Thank you so much for your love and kindness. For your acceptance and understanding. For your honesty and encouragement! I'd especially like to thank those that called me on the carpet, because that was also needed. I am in awe at the people that I have met along this journey and cannot imagine my life without you. Thank you!!!!

It's been a while since I've written one of my really LONG posts, so... prepare yourself!

My last post was really just the tip of the ice burg for the type of week I had. It was a rough week. Personally, professionally, physically, and... really in every way. This job is proving to be more difficult that I had thought it would be. It is mentally taxing me in a way I haven't been in a long time. I don't say this to brag, but typically I can walk into a new position and within even a week - I get it. That doesn't mean I don't make mistakes or that I still have tons to learn. But I get it, and have come to expect that of myself. Not this time though. There is just SOOO much to learn, I have found myself overwhelmed, frustrated, lost, and venerable. I think that is part of what lead to my last post. It wasn't just my weight loss that I was feeling lost about. I've been working over time trying to spend as much time as I can learning. So that, on top of some very late nights, means not a lot of sleep, eating not the greatest and all that adds up to not a lot of energy. It was just kind of a perfect storm that lead to me coming home on Friday being exhausted, depressed, and ready to quit.

So I ate dinner (too much, of course) and was planning to go to bed at 6:30, (Mike was at Scout Camp) when Liana called and invited to take me on a date. Well how could I turn down a beautiful girl such as her? ;) It was really fun to get out and to chat with Liana and to laugh. I just love that girl!!! Thanks Liana! Saturday morning I slept in until 9, got up and picked raspberries (our fall berries have come in and there are a TON of them! Yum!), ate, and read for a little while. I fell back asleep around 10:30 or 11 until 1:30. As you can see, I was TIRED! When I woke up I took a shower and had some time to ponder my life and recent decisions.

The two decisions that I previously felt so good about - changing my job and to quit WW and try Intuitive Eating came crashing down around me this week. It was time for me to accept that. And to decide what comes next. I was in the shower a long time praying and thinking. This is what I've come to... I'm not quiting either of these choices! I'M NOT QUITING!!!

Okay, so the job - I don't get it. That just means I need to dig in and try harder. I need to ask more questions, ask for more time to understand. I need to access my resources more, and if need be find some others that I don't currently have to help me. I need to give myself time - this isn't going to happen overnight. But I do know that I can do it. I can not only do it, but I can kick butt at it and be one of the top performers.

And as for Intuitive Eating? Well I've had some real break throughs there. So it turns out that I was on the exact path that I was suppose to be on, I just didn't know it. My books came! Remember the two I mentioned? Intuitive Eating and Shrink Yourself? Well, this weekend I've been reading the Intuitive Eating and some BIG light bulbs having been lighting up for me. This is how I look at it, Intuitive Eating is the beginners book. Women Food and God by Geneene Roth is the advanced book. I started on the wrong end, so I only had part of the information I needed. No wonder I was so lost!

If you have read Women Food and God and tried it, and didn't like it. Stop! Before giving up on Intuitive Eating, PLEASE get yourself a a copy of Intuitive Eating and read it!!!!! Please!

Anyway, this book has completely touched my heart and validated everything that I have been going through since August 25th when I decided to quit dieting. Turns out that all along I've been doing almost everything I needed to and have been on the right path - I just didn't know it. So the whole time I was feeling like I was messing up and lost, I wasn't really. 

The thing that is so great about this book is that it's just the hard facts. The tell it how it is, and tell you exactly what you need to do. No skirting around the issues, or making any assumptions that you know what their talking about it. It's very to the point and simple. Don't get me wrong, I still find value in Women Food and God, it's just that I wasn't quite ready for the philosophy and vagueness that I got from it. I needed details. I think that after mastering the principals from Intuitive Eating, I'll then be able to go back and read Women Food and God and be able to take SO much more from it! 

In the book they speak about the five stages to becoming an intuitive eater. Stage one - Readiness - Hitting Diet Bottom. This is basically when you get to the point when you realize you do not want to diet anymore. You are done being ruled by what other people say you should do to or with your body. You are done feeling guilty for wanting a piece of cake. Done with the guilt, frustration of feeling like you don't have any will power, and done with hating yourself for it. They talk about the fact that before you can move on from stage one, you've got to be ready to really and truly give up on dieting. I wasn't there yet. I think that's why I've been fighting myself so much. I've said I want to do this, but I've kept in the back of my mind that WW is still there - it's a safety net. I can go back if I want. And I guess that's still true. The difference now? I don't want to. I don't ever want to diet again. I don't ever want to teach my children to diet. I want peace with food, and with my body. I want to love myself and not be at battle all the time. I'm giving up the safety net. 

Okay, so here is where the biggest a ha moment came for me. I'm in the shower right, and I'm thinking about all this, and up until this point, I've only read about stage one. So I decide, okay. I'm on board, I'm giving up dieting. It's gone. I'm boxing up all my diet books, my scale, my food scale, and getting rid of them. I get out of the shower and read stage two. It was so enlightening that as I'm reading it, I've got tears coming down my face.

Stage two - Exploration - Concsious Learning and Pursuit of Pleasure. The general idea? Get to know food again. Give yourself permission to eat ANYTHING! All those trigger foods, eat them. All those foods you've been denying yourself, or eating in secret - eat them! Eat them until your body realizes you can have them anytime you want! And guess what, at some point you realize, you don't even like them! Or you start to realize that because you know you can have it any time, you no longer feel like you need it all the time. When you quit depriving yourself of it, you realize you don't need it or even want it. It was just that by telling yourself you can't have it that made you want it so much in the first place. During this stage you do not need to focus on what you are eating, at all! You just do your best to honor your hunger and feel your fullness. But even if you can't do that, IT'S OKAY!! That was so big for me. Because as I mentioned, pretty much since I started this, I've overeaten every day. And I've been so upset with myself that I was messing it all up! But I wasn't. That is just a part of my learning. And again, by making it okay, it takes away the... desire for it. I'm not there yet, but I am beginning to understand. Reading this part just was so empowering to me. I realized that without even knowing it, I am already a good way through this process. In the last 3-4 weeks I have eaten things that I haven't eaten in years. I've gone back to things I use to binge on 5 or 6 years ago.

Like this cake for instance. When I was 18 I moved to Arizona for 5 months. While I was there I ate a lot of cake and a lot of pasta. The cake I would make was the one Betty crocker cake with sprinkles and the matching frosting. And seriously, I probably ate one of those pretty much by myself about every week. I haven't had one in so long, but I bought it last week. And we ate it. And you know what, by the time we were about done, I realized, it's not even that good, and I don't want it anymore. But... because I didn't know that that was exactly what this process is about, I was feeling like a failure because I was eating something I thought I was "over". When really, I was just going through what I needed to to  really be at peace with that cake and realize, I don't need it anymore. I don't want it anymore, and I have power to make that decision. I didn't realize that I have been working through all my past diets and deprivations. There are other cravings I've been having and giving into that I didn't even realize were something still being "held" over my head!

The other thing I've been doing is trying to force this whole "Feel your feelings, don't eat them". But that is another part of the process that will just happen. My trying to force it was just making it harder and more painful! As I become free from the power food has over me, I will naturally start to separate my emotions from food. A-HA!!!

So this was the paragraph that just opened my eyes and made me realize I AM OKAY!

"[In Stage 2] The bulk of your eating may be in foods that are heavier in fat and sugar than you've been accustomed to - although you may have been eating large quantities of these foods secretly or with guilt. The way you eat during this sage will not be the pattern that you will establish or want for a lifetime. You will notice that your nutritional balance is off kilter and you may not feel physically on top of things during this time. This is all normal and expected. You must let yourself go through this stage for as long as you need. Remember, you are making up for years of deprivation, negative self talk, and guilt. You are rebuilding positive food experiences."

A couple of you called me on it in my last post - I was panicking! I have seen changes in my body and thought I was doing the wrong thing. I thought I was going backwards and that I was going to end up where I began. Turns out, I'm on the right track. I am well into stage two, and now I know it. Something I am learning from both this and my new job - knowledge brings safety. This knowledge has helped me to level out and to breath again. I haven't finished the book yet, but I will probably do so very soon. And then I'll read it again. Although I overate yesterday - twice in fact - I am at peace. I don't feel the need to flog myself for those choices, just to learn from them. If you are so tired of feeling guilty and upset with yourself all the time - go get this book!! I feel like shouting it from the roof tops!!! I feel like commenting on every blog about it! But I will try not to make myself obnoxious about it. I just want you to feel what I feel - peaceful! Unless of course, you already feel peaceful and have found what works for you - than that is awesome!! But I know that there are a good number of people that read my blog that haven't found that. Read this book, you never know - maybe it's the thing for you.

You may have noticed some changes to my side bars and such. A couple of weeks ago I changed my blogrolls, but I found that I bit off more than I could chew in keeping it all organized! :) And I was missing not seeing all of the updates so I could read your blog when you posted. Haha. So I put them all back up. I left the new one for new blogs though. Also, I moved some of the stuff up to the top menu bar to declutter. And I got rid of the numbers. Because it's not about the numbers for me anymore. Don't worry though, I'll still talk a lot about how I'm feeling about my body, my health, the way my clothes are fitting etc.

Wow, long post, I warned you. :) If you made it this far, thanks. And again, thank you for all the love you've shown me! Right back at ya! I just love all my friends from blogging, in real life, and my family! If there is ever anything I can do to help you, just ask! I've got to get running so I'm not late for church. Have a beautiful Sunday!



julielopez3 said...

Sam, Glad to see you are not beating your self up anymore and have realized you are on the right track. I have to agree it is liberating so to say to not feel like you can't eat something you want. And no longer have a bad relationship with food...IT IS NOT THE RULER OF ME ANYMORE!
Good luck I will be looking forward to reading more from you.

Anonymous said...

Sam, I'm happy to see you are feeling better (oops there's that word -feeling). I know what you mean about the job and for the first time really being challenged. That's all it is. You will 'get it' soon and when you do, you will be the shining star that you know you are.

Anonymous said...

Sam, love you, love your blog and love this post...but ohhhh scary (for me). This is the goal that I would most like to achieve (wow, I said it out loud), but am so scared. I am so proud of you for going for it. Good luck! I'm sure you can do it.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you're feeling better about things, Sam. :) This is such an awesome post and very informative too. Thank you! :)

Happy Fun Pants said...

OOOH! How wonderful! I feel much better about my own journey too now.

AND I'll be ordering that book STAT!

Lisa said...

Sam - thank you soooo much for your unconditional support of me. I enjoy ALL input. I hope to start offering you the same kind of support. I have been a selfish friend. Please forgive me and thanks again for commenting on my blog.

:Deliciously Healthy said...

Love this post! I'll definitley pick up that book!

ladyofthehouse said...

Sam, I am so glad that you've found some peace with food!! It can have such a hold on us. I pray that as you dig deeper at work that the way of things will become so much clearer to you.
Praying things get better and better :)

ellen said...

I have been following your blog for a few weeks now and just wanted to let you know how inspiring you are. I have just started a blog myself and pretty much follow your sense of intuitive eating. I finished Geneen Roth's book after I saw her on Oprah one day and just really 'got it'. I don't think I would have been that open to it 5 or 6 years ago. That just shows I guess that everyone is on their own path and will know when it's time to make a change for ourselves and not worry about what others may think. Intuitive eating in many ways, requires more strength and determination than any other way of eating, in my opinion. After losing 100 pounds, I followed WW for some time but still had the 'emotional baggage' that went along with over eaters in general. I finally quit measuring, counting and all that, and began listening to my body. Sometimes I have to listen really, really hard, but it's all a process of learning, right?
Anyway, congrats on such a successful blog. I look forward to reading more outstanding posts from you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sam! I nominated you for a blog award! :) Just hop on over to my blog to find out the details. :)

Joy said...

Hi my Friend!! So happy you've found what works for you and what brings you peace. I know that whatever you do, you will succeed. You've got what it takes!!!

Keep at the joy you will get it and be the shining star at that place!!!

Sending love and hugs your way!!!

Anonymous said...

Because your blog inspires me to try harder, I have nominated you for an award.

Alan said...

i know exactly how you felt when you were starting that new job. I recently started a new job and quickly found myself overwhelmed with work and trying to keep my healthy lifestyle. I found myself wanting to make those poor choices again and I quickly took control again. Sometimes change is hard, it took me about 3 weeks to adjust to everything.

I am so glad to see you have given up dieting! Who wants to live life on a diet?? Surely not me! Keep doing great thing!