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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Life Changing Paradigm Shift

Week 2 - Step 2: Honor your hunger

I bought the Intuitive Eating digital recording. I thought it was the just an audio recording of the book. But it's not. It's actually the authors more teaching the book. It's shorter than the book, but I'm really enjoying it. They do these learning sets where they walk you through some of the skills. So far I've listened to the first two steps and gone through the skill sets. Wow, talk about an eye opener. I thought the book was awesome, this is even better! It's like having counseling sessions with them! :) 

I actually had what Steven Covey calls a Paradigm Shift last night. It had been a good day. Mike is still sick, poor guy, so I told him to plant his butt on the couch and rest. I cleaned most of the day and felt really productive! I tried to go running, but it was just too cold. My running clothes do not cut it. So I turned around and came home, I'm going to buy some winter running stuff tomorrow for the race. 

Anyway, I was feeling really good about having done so much. I had a couple of really great listening to my body-days. So I bought this digital download and started listening to it yesterday. In the first skill - Reject the Diet Mentality, there were two things that kept jumping out at me every time they said it, which was often.

Be curious, don't judge. 

Put weight loss on the back burner. 

As I think back over these last couple of weeks (months) of struggling, I thought I had stalled out. I thought I was failing and "struggling". But now I realize that I have been going through the exact process I needed to. The only real problem, is that I have been judging myself and criticizing myself for gaining weight, and not losing weight. Part of that comes from 15 years of judging myself. Part of that comes from focusing on what I always have focused on... weight loss. Rather than being curious about my experiences, why I was over eating, why I was hiding from certain emotions, why certain experiences or people were setting me off, I was just judging. Now that my eyes are open, I plan to change that. I made these little signs, and I'm going to put them up every where - in my car, bathroom, kitchen, work, computer. I want to learn to be curious and not judge. To learn and to be taught, and not to judge.

So I got curious about what I have I been doing right. Well, I've definitely been eating! : ) I think I've am really to the point where I truly believe, and my body believes, that I can eat anything... unconditionally. If I want to eat a whole sheet cake, I can (I didn't eat the whole thing, Mike helped!). If I want to eat a whole bag of caramel apple suckers, I can and did, and they were delicious. If I want to eat a stick of butter, I can (I didn't, I'm just saying I could if I wanted to). My point is that I am truly to the point where I know that no foods are off limits, and never again will they be. This I think is huge! 

I have become fairly adept at honoring my hunger. I don't always get to eat right when I feel I should, but I can feel it. I'm learning when it's time to eat, when I've gone way past it, etc. 

I have learned that I have a hard time being brave and sitting with my emotions. I'm not judging myself for that, just acknowledging that it's the case. 

I also need to acknowledge that I have been avoiding diet foods. There have been times that my body wanted to eat them, and I rejected them because they are a diet food and I am not "dieting" anymore. Which means I have not been unconditional about eating those foods. Haha. Didn't see that one coming. Now I am trying to open my self to the fact that it's not about what my head wants or deems appropriate anymore. It's what my body wants. And if my body wants something that I use to consider "diet" food, well, it's not really "diet" food anymore. It's just a healthy choice. 

Lots of good things, maybe not perfection, but definitely progress! 

Anyway, back to my paradigm shift. So I finished listening to the part on Reject the Diet Mentality, and they wanted me to find somewhere quiet and go through some statements with them. So I went in our bedroom, shut the door and turned off the light. I made it so my iPod was the only light giver. She would say a statement that was more something you might hear a dieter say, and then help you change it into a intuitive eating statement. It was a great process. At the end she mentioned that putting weight loss on the back burner is one of the key elements to really adopting this way of life. I paused it, and there in that dark room, I searched my soul. 

I flashed back to the last month, weeks, days, and even hours. I saw the truth, and it was so big and obvious. I may not be stepping on a scale anymore, but I am still weighing myself just the same. Every day! Every moment practically. I am judging myself for how tight my pants are, for the muffin top that is hounding me, for the image in the mirror. 

There in that dark room by myself in the quiet, I faced some real demons. Well, maybe not real, but... they are my demons to face. I realized that this is never going to work, unless I trust the process. And by that I mean trust myself. Trust my body. Trust my God. 

I have to stop looking in the mirror and being disgusted by what I see. 

I have to stop tugging and pulling on my clothes and for heavens sake just wear something that is comfortable. 

I need to give myself some room to just breath. To grow. To learn. To make mistakes, and to learn from them.

And to realize that by letting go of this faithful friend that I've had so long, "weight loss", I will gain so much more in the end. 

It's time to shed some weight alright. Just not the weight I always thought I needed to lose. It's the other things that weigh me down that need to go. The insecurities, judging others and myself, selfishness, the masks I wear to protect myself, laziness and procrastination, fear, anger, and this desire to fix myself by losing weight. 

It's time to forgive. It's time to let go. 

It was one of those moments that you know changes everything. Where your heart almost starts racing a little, and your skin is tingly and on fire. And you know from the top of your head to the bottom or your toes, that when you open your eyes, everything will look different. My contemplating quickly turned into a prayer. A prayer of sorrow at first. Asking forgiveness for my faults, shortcomings, and attitude. Then a prayer of gratitude. I have been given SOOO much in my life! And lastly, a prayer of... begging really. I begged that this affair that I have with weight loss could end. That this could be a real change deep within me, deep within my heart. That it can be lasting. That I can give up this desire, that he would pry open my clenched fingers and take it. 

And my prayer was answered. There is a pit inside me where this longing use to reside. And it was emptied yesterday. It was then filled with the love of God. I know that sounds probably a little crazy. I wish I could really explain it, but the truth is there are no sufficient words to describe the utter peace, warmth, and light that filled it's place.

I am now ready to start the real work. To start down this path that I had no idea I would even be on. I can't wait to see what comes next! 

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5 comments:

Mom to the Fourth Power said...

Wow, thanks for sharing your paradigm shift experience. I love that soul searching and I know your answer to your prayer. I've had experiences like that as well....life changing.

How wonderful to be rid of that "demon" of weight loss and to just have that taken from you and feel God's love. For me, it's similar as I've realized the huge lies I've been believing my whole life... from the Adversary, and I have to acknowledge those lies and let them go... sometimes daily!

Thank you for sharing your feelings, experiences, and testimony. It's very encouraging and inspiring to me!! :)

~Margene

julielopez3 said...

Sam,
I just started reading the Intuitive Eating this weekend. The trainer at the gym recomended it in Zumba the other night. I am only on Chapter 7 but it is an eye opener at how dieting has effected me.

Stephanie said...

I love reading your posts, Sam. You are SO inspiring. I should really check out this book. :)

Natalia said...

Good for you! :)

healthyboti said...

Fantastic!

I took me over a year of being an intuitive eater before I finally realized I was still trying to diet and let those thoughts go.

Kate @ Walking in the Rain