Friday, December 30, 2011

Life's curveballs....

Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough, but reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The GPS from the Twilight Zone

The biggest obstacle to any kind of transformation is the voice that tells you it's impossible.  It says:  You've always been like this, you'll always be like this, what's the point.  No one every really changes.  Might as well eat.  By the way, have you taken a look at your arms recently?  And what were you thinking when you wore those pants today?  Have you noticed the rolls cascading over your pants?  And excuse me, did you forget to put on makeup today or is that what you look like when it's already on?  That Hair.  Those thighs.  Why do you even bother?  Did you just say what I think you said to your boss?  Who are you, Queen of the Universe?  How many times do you have to fall flat on your face before you learn to keep your mouth shut?

Less lyrical people (like Sigmund Freud) call it the superego, the internalized parent, the inner critic.  I call it THE VOICE.

Everyone has THE VOICE.  It's a developmental necessity.   You need to learn not to put your hands in fire, walk into oncoming traffic, stick electrical wires into water.  You need to learn that you probably won't be welcomed into other people's houses if you throw food on their walls or put snakes in their beds.  When external authority figures such as parents, teachers or family members communicate verbal and nonverbal instructions about physical and emotional survival, we coalesce those voices into one voice--THE VOICE--by a process call introjection (internalizing authority figures).

According to developmental psychologists, THE VOICE is fully operative in most of us by the time we are four years old, after which it functions as a moral compass, a deterrent to questionable behavior.  Instead of being afraid of the disapproval of our parents, we become afraid of the disapproval of THE VOICE.  Instead of being punished for daring to disagree with our mothers or father, we adults punish ourselves for daring to believe that our lives could be different.  We become risk aversive.  Frightened of change.

Passionate Presence

Catherine Ingram tells a story in her book "Passionate Presence" about a young friend of hers who said, "Pretend you are surrounded by a thousand hungry tigers.  What would you do?" Catherine said, "Wow, I don't know what I would do.  What would you do?"  Her young friend said, "I'd stop pretending!"

Most of us are so enthralled with the scary tigers in our minds--our stores of loneliness, rejection, grief--that we don't realize they are in the past.  They can't hurt us anymore.  When we realize that the stories we are haunted by are simply that --stories--we can be with what we actually feel directly, now, in our bodies.  Tingling, pulsing, pressure, weightiness,heaviness, big black ball of concrete in the chest.  And by being in immediate contact with what we feel, we see the link we are so much more than any particular feeling, that for example, when sadness is explored it may turn into a lush meadow of peace.  Or that when we allow ourselves to feel the full heat of anger without expressing it, a mountain of strength and courage is revealed.

The Eating Guidelines

  1. Eat when you are hungry.
  2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment.  (This does not include the car.)
  3. Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music.
  4. Eat what your body wants.
  5. Eat until you are satisfied.
  6. Eat (with the intentions of being) in full view of others.
  7. Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.

It's not about the weight. It's not about the goal.

It's not about Being Thin or Being Someone Special or Getting There.  Those are fantasies in your mind--and they are all in the future, a future that never comes.  Because when your goals are reached, they will be reached in the "right now."  And in the "right now," you will still be you, doing the same things you do now.  You will still stand up. Walk around. Get root canals. Open the refrigerator door. Sleep. Feel happy. Feel devastated.  Feel lonely.  Feel loved. Get old. Die.

But it's not not about the weight because if you keep using food as a drug, if you keep distracting yourself by creating a weight problem, then you need to attend to your weight in order to stand up, walk around, open doors, sleep, feel happy, feel devastated, feel loved, get old, die-- with any degree of attention, wholeheartedness, presence.  If you keep slapping another problem on top of the freshness of life itself, all you see is what you've slapped on to it.  You cannot ignore a problem just because it's one you've manufactured.

At some point, it becomes about the weight.  When you can't life the rest of your life with ease, the weight itself needs to be addressed.  Not so that you can become super-model thin.  Not so that you can look like an image in your mind that has nothing to do with your body, your age, your life.  You need to address the weight because without addressing it, you don't actually live.  You schlep yourself from place to place, out of breath.  Sitting is painful.  Flying is torturous.  Going to the movies is challenging.  You become as burdened with the problem you've created that your lie becomes small and your focus becomes narrow.  Life becomes about your limitations.  What you can and cannot do.  How much you can hide.  How ashamed you are of yourself.  You close down your senses, you leave the world of sounds, of color, of laughter in favor of a reality you've created yourself.  If you keep using food as a drug, if your life comes about your weight, you miss everything that is not realted to your weight problem.  You die without ever having lived.

Taken from the book: "Women Food and God" by Geneen Roth Author of the New York TImes Bestseller "WHEN FOOD IS LOVE"