Over the course of the last few years, I’ve been on this journey of healing. Initially it was to lose weight because I have about 50 pounds to lose. I’ve been a Weight Watchers member for over 10 years and tried countless diets, everything from Atkins to Paleo. Although I did lose 60 lbs twice over the course of my life, I haven’t kept it off.
My journey starts over three years ago when I decided I needed to leave the area where I lived to move to sunny Florida. It took a lot of courage to move my family to another state, and to an entirely new environment. Not easy I can assure you because I had an amazing job with an amazing company! I experienced a lot of mixed emotions throughout that year, because we were starting over. I questioned myself repeatedly about whether it was a good decision. Ultimately, I felt it was because knew in my spirit I had to do this for myself.
However, the journey took me to places I didn’t realized I needed to go. Specifically around beliefs, behaviors and developing character. I learned humility and patience rather quickly, something I needed. The weight loss didn’t come though. Yes, lost weight on dieting, but again, gained it back and became increasingly frustrated. I decided I was going to continue developing my personality and who I was instead. I grew in others, learning about people, how they behaved and how I could help. All of my experiences volunteering were invaluable in developing who I was as a person. It was like a personal development immersion program, one that continues today.
I have been spent countless hours/days/years trying to ‘figure’ out how to lose this weight for good. I’ve read many books on the subject, I feel like I could earn a honorary degree in health, nutrition and weight management. I’m even a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council of Exercise (ACE) which is an amazing program. I’m even thinking of going for their Weight Management Coach certification as well just because I’m so passionate about this subject. Incidently, all of this information has still not had pushed me to take the right action as I thought it all would. Just because most of it is strategies, many that work, but most not sustainable.
That’s when I discovered Karen Koenig’s book, “The Rules of Normal Eating“. This book has changed my perspective in many ways. Karen contacted me a few months back to ask if she could volunteer to conduct an “Emotional Eating” class. Of course, I said yes immediately. She asked attendees to read her book which I did in a couple of days. It was like the light bulb went on for me! I couldn’t believe it. Her approach is what I’ve been looking for and it’s all in one book. Just reading this book made me ‘exhale’ in a way I haven’t in so long. Finally, someone ‘gets’ it. Karen’s been a therapist for over 30 years and she has been seeing people who have eating disorders and has learned a few things.
To start, Karen talks a lot about appetite. When am I hungry? Usually all day long. But no, when is my BODY really hungry? I don’t know? I never really stopped and checked. The first week, Karen asked us to start noticing when we were hungry. What are the signals? What feelings do we get when we are hungry? Well, this was a tough exercise. I had a hard time coming up with answers, but then after a few days, I realized, yes I was starting to feel something when I waited to eat. It was more of an ’empty’ feeling which led to my stomach growling. That’s when I knew, I’m hungry.
How about you? Do you know – like REALLY KNOW when you’re hungry? It’s a worthwhile exercise because if you’re like me and you’ve had a ‘turbulent’ relationship with food over the years, you may not know. Please let me know below if you have any revelations by submitting your hunger signals below…