Monthly Archives: May 2015

Would I lie to you (I mean myself)???

(I used to love that song back in the 80’s!!)

At our weight loss support group meeting, we talked about what works when we are ‘on track’ or ‘being good’ and what doesn’t.  Then it came to me, am I telling myself the truth about what works?  Am I telling myself the truth when I say things like, “I don’t have a sugar addiction.” or “I can eat just a little bit and I’m satisfied.”  Really?  Is this true or how I manipulate the truth to ‘justify’ my actions? Or should I say, give myself permission?   Similar to being in a unhappy relationship, we lie to ourselves over and over to justify our decision to stay in the relationship without even thinking twice. If I know this, why do I keep doing it?

I’d rather ignore the damages of what is being done to my body and eat food that ‘makes me feel good in the moment’ than face reality.  I’d rather give myself permission to eat as much as I want, when I want and what I want to appease the inner child in me because that’s how I’ve historically shown love to myself. This logically makes no sense, but if we are being honest, it is exactly what happens. This ‘love’ I’ve shown myself has resulted in the following:

  • BMI that’s off the chart
  • Obesity
  • Joint pain
  • Lack of energy
  • Insulin Resistance/Pre-diabetes
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Brain Fog
  • Lack of sleep
  • Female issues
  • Indicators for heart disease, leading to Syndrome X
  • Apple shape/Belly fat
  • Hair loss
  • Decline in physical appearance (i.e. can’t find clothes that look good, skin is bulgy etc.) which significantly impacts self-confidence and self-esteem

I have issues with food. I lose control more often then I’d like to admit. Here’s the thing, if I continue to lie to myself all the time, guess what the results will be 5 years, 10 years from now…you know the answer! Ding, ding: Unhealthy & unhappy with serious medical issues.

I’ve done a lot of self-development work over the course of the last 3 years. This work has opened my mind up to some of the self-destructive behaviors we all do that have sadly become habits.  If continued, these habits will lead to either early death or years of suffering.   I consider myself relatively young and yet, I feel like I’m in my 60’s because it’s hard to move around, be active and have the energy necessary to live a full life.  It’s not going to get easier, it’s going to get harder and harder. Yet, I lie to justify!  I ‘try’ not to think about it, but reality is, I’m thinking about it obsessively and that’s not working either.

It’s time to get real.  I have been avoiding the mirror because I don’t want to see the truth. When I went shopping for clothes, I was angry and wasn’t taking responsibility. I was blaming the clothing companies  and stores (my blog entry from last week) for not carrying or producing flattering clothing in my size.  While I still stand by the fact that there should be more tailored clothing available in plus sizes, the truth is, I didn’t want to take responsibility and own the anger.  Instead it was easier to blame others and continue lying to myself instead of the truth that it’s been my choices that landed me where I am today. Granted, there are many factors that go into those choices, like lack of knowledge, awareness and physical changes, but ultimately, it’s my life, my choices and I have to own that. I cannot continue to sit around making up stories to justify those choices.  I made them and it’s over. Now it’s time to accept where I am today and move forward.

I’ve made a lot of progress with incorporating healthy habits into my life, but I have a long way to go. That’s the truth.  The other truth is that in order for me to significantly improve my health, I have to start getting real about food.  I need to eliminate many of the offending foods from my diet.  There’s a reason most diets recommend ‘cleaning your environment’ and that’s to remove temptation from the equation. It’s difficult to incorporate changes to your diet but it’s extra hard when you have the offending foods in your face.  In the past, I would get angry, why can’t I have those foods available (going back to my childhood)?  I should be able to ‘handle’ them. The truth is, I cannot. I binge on them. Its time to remove them from my life. They do not add to my life, they slowly take it away.  I have to start saving my life today. I know if I don’t, I won’t be here as long as I should be. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s reality, and since I’m starting to give up lying to myself, I will give myself the gift of truth from this point forward.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be working to remove sugar and flour from my diet.  I’ve done it before unsuccessfully because I didn’t have the support system in place ahead of time.  Today, I do and I’ll be testing this in the coming weeks.  I’m so grateful to have this venue available so I can share with you my thoughts and emotions during this process.  It’s going to be tough but what will be tougher is if I don’t try and instead give up.  That I cannot do.

 

 

Shopping for clothes is not fun when you’re overweight

The last couple of weeks have been interesting. I’ve been really hard on myself and been noticing things bothering me more than normal. One thing that bothered me a lot had to do with clothes not fitting.  Because I’m an apple shape, it’s really hard to find clothes that fit well and look good.  I was doing some research online for tips for those who have apple shapes and honestly, ideas of what looks good were not consistent.

One challenge is finding the right pants or skirts to wear, not just for work but casual clothing as well.  It’s frustrating.  I take the time to style my hair and apply makeup on a daily basis.  However, when I wear an outfit and the waistband rolls over, it’s embarrassing.  I was honestly thinking, manufacturers should consider this when creating clothing for those of us who carry weight in our belly. Maybe create pants/skirts that are similar to maternity wear where the waistband goes up and over your belly. It’s crazy that I considered shopping in that department (and potentially very embarrassing) but what other options are there? I don’t want to walk around with pants rolling down and exposing my belly because my shirts aren’t long enough.

I know this sounds crazy but even though I am overweight, I do like to look presentable.  Is that so much to ask? Why does it seem as though a lot of these clothing manufactures think women who are overweight want to look like a tent? Why do shirts look like tents and pants look like parachutes? I don’t carry weight in my butt or legs, it’s all in my belly. That being said, when buying pants, I have to purchase ones that fit my waist.

Unfortunately, obesity is on the rise. If it continues to grow, how clothes are made should be adjusted to accommodate the various body types.  I don’t want to (nor can I) look like a slob when I’m at work.  It’s going to take time to lose this weight and while I am, I want to look good no matter if I’m at sporting event or in a meeting.

Shopping for clothes should be a fun experience. But at times, I end up leaving the store defeated because nothing fits right. I’m tired of wearing the same clothes.  It’s not fun, it’s overwhelming. Not only are you not finding the right fitting clothes, but you’re also looking at yourself in the mirror not fitting into clothes and looking awful. How can you ‘tell yourself’ you look good all the time, when you look in the mirror all you see is yourself NOT looking good?

I’ve been working on the positive thinking (as you know) and it’s helped a lot but when I trying to saying things like, “I’m a healthy weight” or “I’m fit and look amazing.” it’s not believable and I say to myself, whey am I lying to myself? Why am I saying this when I know it’s not true and knowing is what trumps what you’re saying, correct?

 

 

This is getting old…

Why does it seem like every time I get into a groove and really start to feel like I’m on the right track, all of the sudden, out of no where, I fall off the track!  And the kicker is, sometimes, I don’t even realize what I’m doing. It’s like I slip into bad habits and don’t even see them coming.  Then something happens, and I’m suddenly noticing what’s happening, yet I’m STILL ENGAGING in the behaviors…how does this make sense? This is getting old…

I have BFF this week, which as I mentioned in previous posts, my most vulnerable time (think pain-body/negative attitude).  I know this about myself, have spent time preparing, marking my calendar to make sure I stay on top of it and notice when I’m thinking differently.  Yet, at the same time, I unconsciously start thinking negatively, saying negative things about myself and then all of the sudden, I’m in front of the TV, binge eating and wondering how the heck I got there.

Can anyone relate to this? It’s like I become another person, the one that has a negative spirit, negative thoughts and ultimately follows negative behaviors which do not align with my true nature or my goals.  It’s very frustrating.

Yesterday, I noticed some of the things I was saying and I had to immediately stop myself.  It worked for about an hour, then back to it again. Yes, I grabbed a coffee because that does improve my state quickly and it did.  However, later in the evening, it happened again, followed by eating episode.  I was discouraged. It’s as if I don’t have control over it, like I don’t want to control it. There’s a serious internal conflict going on here.  I have recognized this behavior as being ‘Poor Maria, she’s going through BFF right now and needs to do what she wants to feel better’. This is not helpful, I know, but for some reason, it happens.  I believe it’s from my childhood when my mother treated me this way and I reveled in it because it was the one of the few times she showed compassion in our relationship.

But that was 20 years ago! Why the heck am I carrying on her legacy of treating me like I’m helpless?   I play this role to achieve attention and love.  If I don’t receive it externally from others, I give it to myself by ‘allowing’ any food and doing whatever I want during that time, which mostly consists on laying on the couch eating while watching TV.

I’m embarrassed to admit this but it’s time to get real. It’s time to lay it all out on the table because this has become a monthly thing.  I will do really well, habits going well, self-talk going well and then all of the sudden, I’m back at square one, doing the dumb stuff that put this weight on in the first place.  I’ve been able to squash this behavior when I’ve been on diets and losing weight, so I know it’s possible.  Preparing ahead has helped and I’m grateful I’m now fully aware of what I’m doing, but I think it’s going to take some work to resolve this internal conflict. Any ideas?

Emotional Eating vs Emotional Feeling

Over the course of the week, I felt myself getting agitated and when I checked my calendar, I realized, it was a week before BFF.  I knew it was coming and had taken time to think through ahead in order to manage my eating.  It came on sudden though, and my responses seemed reactionary. My attitude was not good. I was short with my family and had an overall state of negativity.  I tried talking myself out of it because I knew it was happening (total revelation), I was watching it, watching my thoughts.

I’m not sure if you read or believe in the concepts from the book, “The Power of Now” but I’ve read it multiple times and listen to it often.  I do believe in the ego self (the bible calls the flesh) and the pain-body.  This was a hard concept for me to grasp in the beginning but after listening to Eckhart multiple times, I started to understand what he was referring to and how as a female, the pain-body is strong during TOM.

When I was noticing my reactions, I was getting upset because I was acting like a child.  I finally decided to change my state by drinking coffee. Believe it or not, it worked. I immediately felt better.  Not ideal in the long term, but it helped shift my focus.  The pattern lasted about 3 days.  On the third day, my son actually pointed it out to me and I heard myself responding with an excuse, “It’s hormones.” That may be true, but it cannot become a separate identity I use to explain my behavior.  Instead, I know I can control it during those times, monitor what’s happening and feel the emotions.

On Tuesday, I had a situation occur where I felt like another person trying to take advantage of us.  Of course it hurt, but also sparked anger.  I’ve had some negative interactions with this person a few weeks prior where his lack of integrity shined through.  My immediate response was, “I’m going to show him how I know he’s trying to ‘pass one over one us’.”  Now this was crazy talk and I knew it yet the emotions which followed were intense. But this time, because I was aware of it, I made a point to talk myself through it, to feel the emotions coming up as a result of this situation.  It wasn’t easy because I was so used to eating to deal with them.

This time, I was in the car, there wasn’t any food around and frankly, I was stern with myself by saying I needed to start feeling these emotions.  I wasn’t sure what I was doing or if I was feeling correctly but I did it.  While I was driving, I let the emotions come like waves in the ocean and it felt strange, but while deep breathing, I could literally feel the emotions passing through and out. It felt therapeutic.

When things seemed to pass, I shifted my focus and started listening to a book which made me happy.  In the back of my mind, I knew I had to respond to this person eventually, but by feeling the emotions and not reacting immediately, it helped for when I did respond. What I said later came from a logical place rather than an emotional one. It helped significantly.

It seems minor but I can say this one small change rippled into all areas of my life.  I didn’t binge on food. Instead, I felt more in control for the rest of the day. I did what made me happy and I was in a better mood for it.  Interacting with others felt better, I was more productive because I wasn’t constantly distracted by the emotions of what happened that morning.  Ruminating thoughts were non-existent. I went on with my routine and felt good.

Feeling emotions are not inherent to me. I’ve struggled with identifying when they come and ultimately how to manage them.  In the past, I’ve most often turned to food for immediate comfort.  However, my health suffered and I know in order for me to be a better person, to give back to others in the world, I will need to manage emotions a lot better (This is Dan Goldman’s entire premise in his book, “Emotional Intelligence”).

I’m grateful for where I am today because I know it’s the path to eternal peace and joy.  I am excited about helping women find this peace and freedom.  Imagine how much healthier our world will be…

Self-love Comes Over Time

One night this week, I woke up around 2:30 AM after a bad dream. In the dream, I was watching my life fade away. I had this overwhelming feeling that the helpless attitude I was carrying around for so long was causing so much loss in my life. It was an awful feeling.  When I woke up, I said to myself, enough is enough. I’m not breathing well at night and it’s waking me up. I have to change something today. I decided to stop eating at 6 PM.  It’s not a major thing, but something I know will help.  I noticed immediately my  sleep was much better. I didn’t wake up multiple times throughout the night and I felt more energetic in the morning. The best part, I lost weight!

Of course, my focus has been internal growth.  I’ve been reciting affirmations religiously, creating space for internal change and practicing consciousness which has been evolving dramatically. I’m excited to continue learning and growing in this area.  A piece of it is loving myself and my body.  This hasn’t been the case (obviously) for most of my life.  I wouldn’t’ say to myself outright, “I hate myself and my body.” Instead, it was more about telling myself over and over what I should be doing, or what I needed to do to get a better life.  All of which was inherently pointing to the fact that at the moment, I’m not good enough, that something was always missing. It’s like running a race but the finish line keeps changing to the point you never cross it because there’s always more distance between you and the line. Talk about frustrating.

That’s how the lack of self-love manifested in my life for so many years.  If someone had asked if I liked myself, I would say yes of course.  Rationalizing by saying I like myself enough to constantly try to improve. This is delusional.  It may seem that way, but the fact is, it’s a lie.

When you love yourself, you are kind, compassionate and forgiving.  If you make a mistake, you are not berating yourself constantly of what you ‘should have done differently’.  I’m not sure where I equated self-love to berating myself, but it’s been a lie I was sold and believed for most of my life. How tragic! The good news, now I know the truth and as they say in the bible, the truth sets you free.

Affirmations help with this.  At first it seems silly saying these things, in fact I get teased for it. However, over time, it starts to come out during challenging times.  Because my default responses have been negative, it’s taken time to swing the pendulum.  Not an easy feat, but certainly well worth it.  I feel so much more at peace with myself. I can truly say, the road to self-love seems attainable now.  What comes with that self-love?  Taking care of my body because I want to take care of it.  That is why I said, I’m not eating past 6 PM.  I don’t need to and honestly, it’s going to help with taking care of myself.  Just like flossing my teeth, taking vitamins etc.  We do these things because we want to take care of ourselves.  It feels so much better and I’m a happier person for it.

Self-love is critical and attainable for becoming healthy.  If I don’t love myself, why would I take care of my body?