Wednesday, February 3, 2010

DAY 178 Looking in the Mirror, Part 3

Hello Journal & Friends,

Oh noes, part three?!!

Well, in case anyone has time to kill and missed parts 1 & 2, here they are:

Now on to the spellbinding Part 3, ha ha ha:

I've spent years working to resolve past issues. I learned that "enduring" them doesn't solve a thing. They are still there, sending out subtle signals, and my response to that was to disrupt the signal by eating, so I wouldn't have to face it, to feel it. 

The answer was to RESOLVE them, once and for all. Then put it to rest... make peace with it... learn from it... forgive and let go... whatever it took.

I was applying this principle from Dr Phil's book, The Ultimate Weight Solution: 

"This key unlocks the door to emotional control so that you can quit looking to food for the answers to your emotional pain... heal your feelings so that your eating behavior is no longer fueled by harmful emotions."

Okay, that takes care of the past. But...what about ongoing life?? New stuff that comes up... pressures and stresses of life? I still felt that old pull to use food as my escape valve for current stuff. 

That is where Dayne's post comes in, offering a different perspective. I had dealt with the past, but was still struggling to handle the present. I've made it this far, but at times came perilously close to the edge. 

Dealing with the behavior--the desire to overeat--after the fact is one thing. I've tried to do that most of my life!

But this new way of thinking would help remove a lot of the desire to overeat before the fact... by changing my perception of pressure from a negative into a positive. Instead of running from it by eating, I would not feel that need, because I would now think of the pressure as a positive thing.

I would embrace it as an opportunity.

One of the quotes I like from Dr Phil's book says: 

"One of the most critical ways to stop this behavior is to change the way you think and how you interpret events in your life. What you think determines how you feel."

I've read that one for YEARS. But it never ocurred to me to apply it to how I see the overall concept of pressure. I would apply it to specific events at times, but not the general, all inclusive concept of PRESSURE. 

I had it stuck in my head that pressure was "bad", was negative, that "I don't like pressure". So, of course it caused me stress, and of course I did what I usually did in response to stress: I ate.

This must be getting redundant and boring to some by now. But for me, I am still rolling this around in my head, trying to get a firm grasp on it. It still feels "slick"... I don't have a good handhold on it yet. But I am determined to get there. 

When asked "When Pressure Puts A Mirror To Your Face... What Do You See?"  I want to see Opportunity. I am determined that my new response will be a positive one, seeing Strength, Achievment, and Spunk.

From Dr Phil's book:  "Denial is a dangerous filter."

My verse for today: "The Lord is near."

My quote for today: "There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."  --Will Rogers

Edited to add: If anyone is interested in the whole train of thought, here are all four parts to this epic: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4


antgirl said...

This makes a lot of sense to me. It's something that still needs work in my repertoire. I deal very poorly with stress and pressure. Well, not for all things any more. So, there has been improvement.

I must wrap my mind around something positive about it. Like you say. Complete my attitude adjustment.

Although, I have found it fruitful and beneficial to just damn walk away from some pressures. Some we have to learn to deal with, but I think there are some that don't deserve our efforts. Ya know? But, I doubt you're talking about that kind. :)

dailyseeking said...

I love that last picture and your post was very uplifting to me today!

Joanne said...

Loretta I keep reading about how I must have some deep seated problem and that is why I am so heavy. Well I had a great childhood, not bad marriage and now a wonderful new marriage. Through it all the common denominator was -- I LOVED FOOD!!! I really enjoyed EATING!!!
Sure I had a rough go when my first husband got sick - for years I ate because my weight was the only thing I could control in my marriage and then later I fed my lonliness during his illness with food.

So here I am nine years after he died still fighting the fight and it truly comes down to the fact I LOVE FOOD. I am envious of my new husband - he truly only eats to live - he craves nothing - won't eat a dang thing if he isn't hungry and it drives me crazy.

I am fighting the fight every day and like you said I make the decision each and every day to do this right. Unlike when I go to my mother-in-law's and she puts out this huge spread - I go brain dead and scarf down more than I can handle - and then more later if opportunity arises. Sighs

Talk about off track.

Deb Willbethin said...

Keep thinking out loud about this, Loretta. If you don't mind--cause I'm still puzzling over it, too. I can almost hear the "click" but not quite.

I do agree with antgirl, too. There are some stressful situations that are just better to walk away from. (and I, too, know that those are not the ones to which you're referring-but I'm on a roll here.)

For the things that I can responsibly walk away from, I ask myself if my Lord wants me to take on that high pressure situation. If the answer is "no," I then ask if my ego wants whatever it is and is meeting that need important enough to pay the price.

But, what about the times you ARE talking about? How do we reframe those instances? Keep mulling it over, friend. And share.


midlife_swimmer said...

I really like that you have been chewing on this for a bit and are starting to cross reference context that makes it hit home.

Rettakat said...

MARY: One of the best things I learned in the last few years was to say "no"... and to not worry about what "they" thought, and not to feel guilty. Good point!

DAILYSEEKING: Oh, I'm glad it helped you.

DEB: Well, I'm glad you aren't bored out of your skull yet, cuz I think there is one more... I can almost hear the "click" too! In fact... what was that sound??!!

MIDLIFE SWIMMER: When I first read Dayne's post, it smacked me right between the eyes. I just knew there was something important in there for me. So, I've been like a dog with a bone, chewing on it to get to the marrow. :-D


Debi said...

Hi Loretta,

Not boring at all...and I think facing pressures, negative or postive, gives us perspective.

I love the Dr. Phil really is kinda like, mind over matter. I have to make an effort to change my way of thinking..actually the way I "usually" think. It's never easy changing our own mindset, especially when it has always been a way of life for us. We have to make a conscious effort to 'retrain' or minds to well, quite fraankly, match up with our hearts. Because the way I see it...isn't it our heart that recognized the danger in our current lifestyles and lead us to the road that brought us on this journey? Isn't it our heart that carried the desire to move past our current self?
Honestly, I think digging deep into the heart WILL change the mind along the way.
Keep digging Loretta...You will succeed.

Second Journey

Rettakat said...

JOANNE: For years I was annoyed and frustrated by people insisting there must be some deep dark horrendous abuse type event in my childhood. Uh... nope. I had my share of stuff, and suffered the pain of being a fat baby, child, teen and adult. We ALL have our share of hurts.

Some have the horrendous stuff, but I did not. Unfortunately, what did me in was having food shoved at us instead of being taught how to deal with emotions. That's the simplistic version.

Now here is where you might need to forgive me, if I am way off base... You said your main problem is that you just love food.

I don't buy it. I am sorry, I have heard that over the years many times from different people. And it is a "surface" answer. Please please don't take offense. You can't hear my tone of voice, so just know if you were here I would give you a big hug!!

Here is why the logic doesn't hold water, in my book:

I love to spend money, but I don't overspend and destroy our budget, and cripple us financially. That would not be a healthy response to money.

I love sex just as any normal person does, but I would never walk the street looking for more, or meet a stranger at a bar cuz my hubby is too tired after working all day. That would not be a healthy response to sex.

I love cats, but would not have 75 cats cuz after all they need homes and I enjoy my two so why not get more and more and more... That would not be a healthy response to loving and caring for another living, feeling being.


That is just not logical. So we love to eat. So what. That doesn't mean we HURT ourselves doing it. That is not a healthy response. No one will ever ever convince me that the end of the matter is just that "I love to eat".

I would have to ask WHY am I overdoing it??

Why not eat the food you love, but stop at a healthy amount?
Why not eat healthy food that nourishes yourself?
Why not be able to say no thanks if you are not really hungry?

There is some other thing involved. I can't speak for anyone other than myself... and there are so many variations, because we are all so unique.

But for me, being an emotional eater, food was connected with emotions. Whether mad, sad, happy or glad... food was connected. And in the case of negative emotions, I used food to feel better. Or to AVOID facing the feelings. To self-medicate.

So, even if there IS nothing more than "I love to eat", then you would still need to ask why have you hurt yourself by doing too much of this thing that you love, to the point of it causing yourself emotional pain??

Well, part of this is my own musings, things I have asked myself, and had to sort out. And if it's all wet... then please feel free to hit the delete button, LOL!

I wish you all the best success on your journey, Joanne. It's a process. Keep looking for your own answers... if you never quit, and always keep going, you WILL get there. Those are not just cliches... it is true. :-)


Rettakat said...

JOANNE: Forgot to say, I'm not saying there IS some deep complicated reason. It might be something as "simple" as the fact that you got into the habit of using food as a quick, simple, effective means of "comfort" during some difficult and painful times. And it worked. And we tend to stick with what works. (even if we are talking short term effective).

If there is no payoff, we don't tend to continue the behavior. But with overeating, there IS an immediate payoff, or we wouldn't want to do it again. There is the proven physical rush of feel-good chemicals... the comfort foods, the enjoyment of it, even the memories (I am thinking of my love for Spam and how it reminds me of Momma cooking it for us when growing up!).

That is where I started several years ago... asking myself what the payoff was?? And eventually it came down to being willing to FEEL the emotion I was trying to cover in melted cheese.

Goodness, you really pushed my buttons today, huh? I'd better quit now, or I'll write a book!

cmoursler said...

I have to say...I have always found pressure accompanies opportunities.
A chance to excel.
So, let's excel.
Shall we?

Nancy said...

I have so many stems to my overeating tree. One is that my grandma was only happy when cooking or when watching me eat! Its the only thing I did that made her smile. So its a very deep ingrained thing. She was orphaned at age 11 and spent many years starving, she literally fed us 24/7, and she ate alot too, although her little body never became obese, she had a metabolism that could handle it. But other than her happiness duirng cooking and eating, she was abusive. Fried chicken makes me think of her, and tortillas (she was mexican but made alot of things my grandpa who was american, liked.) This starving woman was my model of how to eat. Sigh.

Kat said...

This post has me thinking. Thank you!

karen@fitnessjourney said...

For me, the word pressure immediately brings to mind another word-action. I don't like pressure and the surest way to relieve it is to do something about it. Creating another problem isn't the answer. I was fortunate to have a mom who taught me this. Sometimes it drove me crazy when she insisted that I immediately act when there was a problem, but today, I thank her for her guidance and insistence that I act responsibly.

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